By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington softball won three games last week to improve to 14-3, but it wasn’t an easy ride for the Blue and White.
The Lady Knights needed nine innings to dispatch Newington 9-8 in the rain at home on May 14. It was eight innings before Southington walked off against Hall at home by a score of 7-6 on May 16. On May 17, the Knights traveled to Windsor and needed a late grand slam to edge the Warriors, 15-9.
Here’s what happened in each game:
Marotto plays hero
MAY 14—The Knights had their chances against the Indians in this high-scoring affair, but it took Chrissy Marotto’s walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to end the game.
Freshman Sam Sullivan tripled to lead off the ninth. After a walk to Kristin Rose, Marotto smacked a hard grounder through the left side to score pinch runner Makena Dlugos. Marotto finished with two hits, a walk, two stolen bases, a run scored and an RBI. Nicole Greco had a solo homer and single, two walks, two runs scored and an RBI. Katie Gundersen had a triple, single, walk, run scored and RBI while Rose tallied a single, two walks, a stolen base and two runs scored. Abby Lamson had a single, walked three times, stole two bases, and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Gianna Perugini tallied three stolen bases and a run scored off the bench.
Julia Panarella pitched 5 1/3 innings in relief to pick up the win in the circle. Panarella gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits, struck out 10, walked one and a hit a batter.
MAY 16—The Knights were able to win in extra innings despite making six errors against the Warriors.
“I just told them look in the mirror and reflect, reflect on the things they did well, reflect on the things that they need to work on, and trust themselves,” coach Davina Hernandez said. “A big piece of it is communication, a big piece of it is knowing what to do with the ball, and overall just playing like we know how to play. I know that if they can sort of get out of their own way mentally, they have all of the tools.”
Southington scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to claim a 6-3 lead. Sophomore Jazmine Lasane led off the sixth with a pinch-hit single. It’s not the first time Lasane has had a big pinch hit for the Knights.
“She’s doing a great job coming off the bench,” Hernandez said. “There’s a lot of young, hungry players that are just fighting, and putting some pressure on some of the upperclassmen. That’s exactly what we need in order for us to get better, push each other to get better.”
It took only one sequence in the top of the seventh inning for Hall to score three times and tie the game. With two runners on and two outs, Hall’s Tessa Hache singled to center to drive in a run. Hache and the runner in front of her wound up scoring after Southington made two throwing errors.
In the top of the eighth inning, sophomore catcher Kayla Pelletier threw out a Hall baserunner trying to steal second base. In the bottom of the eighth, Sullivan reached on error leading off.
“She put the ball in play and hustled down the line and put the pressure on them,” Hernandez said.
After Sullivan stole second base, Alex Rogers hit the ball to the right side to move Sullivan to third base. Freshman Ashlyn Desaulniers grounded to first base, and Sullivan beat the throw home to give the Knights the walk-off victory. Sullivan also pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief and picked up the win.
“She’s only had one or two innings for us this year, and to come in with extra innings and shut it down, she did a great job,” Hernandez said. “I am really, really proud of her.”
Lamson was the lone Knight with two hits. She doubled, singled, walked, scored a run and drove in two. Marotto and Gabby Malachowski each had a hit, run scored and RBI.
Slugfest at Windsor
MAY 17—In a back-and-forth game, it was Lamson’s grand slam in the top of the seventh inning that finally put the Warriors away.
Lamson also had two singles, a run scored and five RBI while Katie Gundersen homered, singled, scored a run and drove in four. Kelsey Fernandez had three singles, a stolen base, three runs scored and two RBI while Marotto had a double, two singles and three runs scored. Malachowski singled, stole a base, scored a run and drove in two while Julia Panarella had a triple and RBI. Greco doubled, scored a run and drove in another. Desaulniers stole a base and scored twice.
Julia Theriault pitched three innings in relief and claimed the win. Theriault gave up two unearned runs on one hit, struck out four, walked one and hit a batter.
Gundersen’s three-run homer in the top of the fifth put Southington ahead 9-4. Windsor scored five runs in the bottom half of the inning, including four with two outs, to tie the game, 9-9. A bases loaded walk to Greco and a Malachowski fielder’s choice put the Knights ahead 11-9 in the top of the sixth inning.
Up next: Southington played NW Catholic on Monday on the road. The Knights were home against Enfield on Tuesday and Conard on Wednesday to close out the regular season.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com