By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Lady Knight softball team averaged about 10 runs a game last year. After starting the season with a 3-1 win over South Windsor at home and extending their second win by a pair of runs more over Rockville at home, concern of the team’s powerhouse capability from a year ago began to surface.
Southington coach Davina Hernandez attributed their opening-day win to nerves. But after the Knights finished this past week with three wins that combined for 36 runs, the speculation had ended. The Knights shook the nerves right off.
“We’re starting to come into our own and relax,” said Hernandez. “We started off the season with more pressure on ourselves this year than we did last year with that long winning streak, simply because we felt that we lost earlier than we should have last year.”
The Knights will look to stay undefeated this week when they host Westhill (5-1) on Wednesday, April 26, NFA (9-0) on Thursday, April 27, and Avon (0-1) on Friday, April 28. Southington is currently 5-0 overall and is tied for first in Class LL with NFA, Stamford (9-0), Cheshire (7-0), and Glastonbury (5-0).
Win vs. Rockville
APRIL 17—The Knights began the week with a 5-1 victory over Rockville at home on Monday. Southington finished the game with eight hits and one error.
“All-around, they have a pretty solid team,” said Hernandez. “They always give us a good game, and that’s why we always play them every year as a nonconference game.”
Amanda Delorme (3-for-3) gave the Knights a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a bases-clearing single that scored Michelle Woodruff and Sarah Myrick (2-for-3). A batter later, Abby Lamson (2-for-3) brought Delorme in on an RBI double.
In the fifth, Myrick scored Katie Semmel with a base hit, and Delorme capped off the win by driving in Myrick on an RBI single. Rockville’s lone score of the game came off an error as an unearned run.
Kara Zazzaro pitched a complete game with 16 strikeouts, allowing just one hit and one walk. The single hit she gave up came on a double.
“She just kind of hung it over the middle of the plate,” the coach said. “We were playing up, and it went over Katie’s head in center. But she shut them down for the rest of the game.”
Win vs. Simsbury
APRIL 18—The next day, the Knights earned their first divisional win of the season with an 11-3 triumph over Simsbury at home off 18 hits and just two errors. The Knights opened the game by posting six runs in the first inning. Seventeen different girls received varsity time for Southington.
“We had a lot of young kids come into the game today,” said Hernandez. “Some of the nerves came out for the first time, but I think they did a really good job just settling in.”
Frankie Ferrante paced the offense by going 3-for-4 with two RBIs, two runs scored, and a triple. Maighread Scafariello went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a double.
Zazzaro started on the circle and went three innings with six strikeouts and a no-hitter, allowing just one walk. Delaney Picard came in relief of Zazzaro to go three innings with four strikeouts, allowing three hits, two earned runs, and one walk. Maddy Rocha closed in her first varsity inning.
“I think at an eight-run lead, I started putting several people in, and by the end, everyone was a substitute,” the coach said. “You didn’t notice. They still continued to do just as well as the starters.”
Win at Bristol Central
APRIL 19—Southing-ton’s first road game of the season at Bristol Central on Wednesday brought a repeat performance of Tuesday’s win over Simsbury with another 11-3 win. The Knights did most of the damage in the fifth inning with five runs. Sixteen different girls played in the game for Southington.
Ferrante went 3-for-3 with three runs scored, a triple, and a walk. Scafariello went 3-for-3 as well with two runs scored, two triples, and a home run.
Zazzaro started on the circle and pitched a complete game with 17 strikeouts, allowing two hits and one walk.
“Kara did an amazing job, despite the rain for almost the entire game,” said the coach. “Maighread and Frankie were on fire at the plate, but I was very pleased with everyone’s performance.”
Win at Maloney
APRIL 23—In a rare Sunday appearance, the Knights remained flawless on the year and rounded out the week by recording their first shutout of the season in a 14-0 rout of the Spartans at Maloney. Southington posted four runs in the first inning with the help of two home runs and five runs in the third.
Amanda Delorme led the offense by going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a triple. Scafariello went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a home run, and a double. Abby Lamson went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a home run.
Zazzaro pitched a complete game shutout, a no-hitter, with 17 strikeouts. One walk in the fifth inning spoiled the perfect game.
For this week’s box scores, click here: (http://southingtonobserver.com/2017/04/26/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-april-28-edition/). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.