By BRIAN JENNINGS
It may have been nerves, as Southington coach Davina Hernandez explains, that factored into a slow start for them, but the Lady Knights (4-0) battled through cold bats and a slump to keep their win-streak of 74 games alive after this week.
Hernandez said that patience at the plate helped them get through their struggles.
Southington began the week by hosting a much improved Conard team (4-1) on Monday, April 11.
With one out in the second inning, Emily Mankus and Tori Aldieri drew walks and Amanda Delorme drove them in on an RBI double. Later in the inning, Katie Semmel scored Frankie Ferrante on a sacrifice bunt to give the Knights a 3-0 advantage.
The Chieftains cut the deficit to one with runs in the fourth and sixth inning, but the Knights responded and closed the deal in the bottom of the sixth. Maighread Scafariello led off the inning with a solo homerun. After getting on base with a single through the gap, Mankus rounded the bases on an RBI double by Delorme.
Mankus went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and a walk. Delorme went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two doubles.
Brenna Sarantides started the game on the circle for the Knights and was credited with the win, going five innings with four strikeouts and allowing three hits and an earned run. Kara Zazzaro closed out the game with four strikeouts, allowing two earned runs, a hit, and a walk.
Southington totaled eight hits and committed three errors. Conard totaled four hits.
First mercy win
A couple days later on Wednesday, Southington cruised to a 21-1 victory at home, mercy-ruling Simsbury (1-2) in five innings. The Knights put up six runs in the first and 11 in the third.
Michelle Woodruff went 3-for-4 with four runs scored and an RBI. Mankus went 3-for-4 with five RBIs, three runs scored, a double, and a walk. Natalie Wadolowski went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, two runs scored, and a double.
Scafariello went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a double. Sarantides went 2-for-2 with two RBIs, two walks, a run scored, and a triple. Ferrante went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, two doubles, and a run scored. Delorme went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Sarantides pitched picked up the win on the circle for the Knights, throwing six strikeouts and allowing three hits and a walk.
Southington tallied 20 hits and committed one error. Simsbury tallied four hits and committed six errors.
Southington recorded their first shutout of the season the next day at home in a 6-0 triumph over Windsor (3-1). The Knights took a 2-0 lead after the third inning, and extended their lead with three runs in the fourth.
Semmel, Woodruff, Aldieri, Janette Wadolowski, Ferrante, and Delorme all scored a run in the game. Sarantides and Delorme hit the team’s only doubles, and each recorded an RBI. Semmel and Ferrante drew the team’s only walks. Natalie Wadolowski’s only hit of the game scored three runners. Mankus recorded an RBI as well.
Sarantides was credited with the win after pitching a complete game with 16 strikeouts, allowing just one hit and one walk.
Southington produced eight hits and committed one error. Windsor produced two hits and committed three errors.
Winning with errors
Southington rounded out the week with a 1-0 win over Rockville (2-2) on Friday, which didn’t come without the help of the Rams.
With two outs in the fourth bottom of the fourth inning on a 2-2 count, Natalie Wadolowski ripped a fly ball to the Rockville’s center fielder, who made an error on the attempted catch. Scafariello stepped up to the plate next, and hit a lined ground ball to the second baseman. The fielder bobbled the ball and Scafariello was safe at first, scoring Natalie Wadolowski for the wining run in the process.
“She [Chelsea Chatterton] knocked the ball down on a good play,” said Southington coach Davina Hernandez. “She just couldn’t complete the play.”
Mankus came up with the team’s only hit in the game. Sarantides achieved the win by going four innings with seven strikeouts and allowing just one hit. Zazzaro came in of relief for Sarantides, firing eight strikeouts and allowing just one hit as well.
Rockville finished with two hits and committed three errors.
“A game like this is good because it gives us those pressure situations,” the coach said. “We definitely could have done a lot of things better earlier in the game, which could have put us in a better position. We didn’t take the bat off of our shoulder. We didn’t give ourselves a chance to hit the ball.”
Hernandez said that her team let a lot of good pitches go by in the count, which forced Southington to battle from behind.
“She’s [Morgan Bolduk] a good pitcher,” the coach said. “They came to play today, and I was really impressed with them. I wouldn’t take anything away from them as a team because they did all the little things.”
Bolduk went six innings for the Rams and threw eight strikeouts.
The Knights will look to keep their winning streak going this week when they travel to Torrington (4-2) on Monday, April 18 and Glastonbury (2-1) on Tuesday, April 19. Following Tuesday’s game, the Knights are set to return home to host Hall (0-1) on Thursday, April 21.
The Knights are four games away from tying Seymour’s state record of 78 wins in a row. Southington is currently first in the Blue Division of the CCC Central region with a 2-0 divisional record and third in the CIAC’s Class LL rankings behind Cheshire (6-0) and NFA (5-0).