By KEVIN ROBERTS
For the second time this season, Southington softball had to respond to adversity immediately following a loss. The Lady Knights lost a 4-3 game at Cheshire in walk-off fashion on April 30.
Like it did following the loss to Bristol Eastern earlier this season, Southington responded to defeat with a convincing victory. The Knights drilled NW Catholic 15-0 in five innings at home on May 1 and improved to 8-2 on the season.
“I think they did a good job just putting that loss behind them, learning from it,” coach Davina Hernandez said. “We had talked about some of the little things that we needed to work on, and I thought we did a much better job today.”
A May 3 home game against Enfield was postponed due to rain. The makeup date for that game hasn’t been announced.
In a game dominated by the long ball, Cheshire stayed in the park in the bottom of the seventh inning to knock off Southington. A two-run single from Danielle Floyd tied the game at 3-3, then sister Bri Floyd singled to drive in the game-winning run.
Gabby Malachowski started the scoring with a solo home run in the top of the second inning. Rams pitcher Bri Pearson homered in the bottom of the second to tie the game, 1-1. The Knights didn’t have another hit until the top of the seventh inning. Kelsey Fernandez started the seventh with a single, then Abby Lamson lifted a fly ball to left field that just cleared the fence for a two-run home run and a 3-1 Southington lead. The Knights were in the driver’s seat, but the Rams rallied and stunned the visitors.
When Southington returned to the diamond on May 1 against NW Catholic, the Knights were focused. Actually, they were too focused, according to Hernandez.
“I told them we almost seemed overly focused, to a point where we were very quiet,” Hernandez said. “I just talked to them about remaining as focused as they were but having a little more energy. As soon as I said that, they totally turned it around.”
Hernandez wants Southington to have the same energy each game out, not just against teams like Cheshire.
“We want to try to have that same energy that we had yesterday every game of the year, instead of turning it on or turning it off for a particular game,” Hernandez said.
Julia Theriault and Dominique Gaudio were ready in the circle for the Knights. Theriault pitched the first three innings and took the win. She gave up one hit, struck out three and walked none. Gaudio threw the last two innings and allowed one hit to go along with two strikeouts and one walk.
“I thought Julia looked great. Dom, she’s got a ton of potential. I thought she had a good performance as well,” Hernandez said.
Offensively, Chrissy Marotto had three hits, including a double, to go along with two runs scored and three RBI. Katie Gundersen and Kristin Rose each had two singles, two runs scored and an RBI. Lamson had a double and two RBI while Fernandez doubled, scored two runs and drove in a run. Kayla Pelletier tallied a single, run scored and two RBI while Alison Rembish tripled and scored a run. Southington had seven doubles and a triple in the game.
Up next: The Knights started a busy week with a Monday road game at Simsbury. Southington was scheduled to play Fitch on Tuesday at home, followed by Avon on Thursday, also at home. The Knights are at South Windsor on Friday for an intriguing game at 3:45 p.m.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com