By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington softball closed the regular season with home wins over Enfield on May 21 and Conard on May 22.
More importantly, the Lady Knights showed their unwavering support for coach Davina Hernandez and her battle against Lupus before, during and after the game against Enfield.
Southington defeated Enfield 4-0 and beat Conard 15-0 in five innings to end the regular season with a record of 17-3. The Knights earned the No. 6 seed in the Class LL state tournament and were scheduled to host No. 27 Wilton (9-11 regular season) from the FCIAC this week in a first round game. Check out the CIAC tournament website for more information.
Lupus Awareness Game
MAY 21—The Knights began the final week with a win over Enfield. The game was just a game though as the focus was on Hernandez and raising awareness for Lupus.
“It’s awesome, literally every year I get emotional at this game just because every year it gets bigger, we get more people, we get more involvement from the players, the parents, the fans,” Hernandez said. “I remember when I was out in the field and I looked over and I just saw so many parents, fans, people that I had never seen before, wearing purple. It was just so cool.”
As it has from the last three seasons, Southington gave a scholarship to Lily Heidgerd, a senior at SHS who is battling Lupus. Heidgerd’s story is similar to Hernandez, with good days and bad days, bouts of illness, surgery and hospital stays.
Heidgerd said she is looking to walk the 5K at this year’s Walk to End Lupus Now, which will be held on Sunday at Pratt and Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. It’s a remarkable feat given Heidgerd has had both hips replaced while in high school.
Hernandez said her Lupus foundation is starting a support group.
“We just locked in a facility, and we’re just really excited to do more than just provide people with money,” Hernandez said.
As for the game, Chrissy Marotto picked up her 100th career hit, stole two bases, scored a run, and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Alex Rogers doubled, stole a base, scored a run and drove in two runs while Katie Gundersen singled and walked, scored a run and drove in a run.
In the circle, Julia Panarella started and pitched the first five innings to pick up the win. Panarella yielded just two hits, struck out seven and walked one. Sam Sullivan pitched the last two innings, gave up one hit and struck out two in relief.
MAY 22—Abby Lamson collected her 100th career hit while Julia Theriault, Dominique Gaudio and Sullivan combined to no-hit the Chieftains over five innings.
Lamson went 4-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and three RBI. Rogers was 4-for-4 with three doubles, two stolen bases, two runs scored and three RBI. Kelsey Fernandez scored a run and drove in two runs while Gianna Perugini added three runs scored off the bench. Gundersen doubled, walked, drove in a run and scored a run while Gabby Malachowski added a sacrifice fly, run scored and RBI.
Theriault started in the circle and struck out three over three innings. Gaudio pitched the fourth inning while Sullivan pitched the fifth and had two strikeouts and one walk.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com