By BRIAN JENNINGS
Without their starting pitcher and starting center fielder, the Lady Knights (3-0) softball team did what they are used to doing in their first three games. Win.
Losing key players, especially a nationally-ranked pitcher, is huge, but that just goes to show you just how deep and good these girls really are. With a substitution on the circle and a slight shift in the outfield, the girls did just fine.
The Knights entered the regular season on the road on Monday, April 13 against Rockville and started where they left off from the last season. The defending state champions rallied to a 12-0 victory, on the shoulders of junior pitcher Brenna Sarantides.
Sarantides started her first varsity game as a Knight and pitched all seven innings with 10 strikeouts and one walk, allowing just four hits.
“She dominated, she really did,” said Southington coach Davina Hernandez. “She got everyone in the lineup to swing and miss at one point. She was just really hard to hit. Brenna has a lot of movement. She’s not extremely overpowering, even though she throws the ball hard, but her ball moves and breaks. She had a great day on the circle keeping her composure.”
Haley Messenger shifted over to right field and went 1-for-4 with two RBI and a triple. Hayley Arduini shifted to center field and powered the offense with a solo homerun. Danielle Ahern shifted over to left field and went 1-for-2 with a walk.
“That was our first game, so it took us to the fourth or fifth inning to really bust it open, swing at good pitches, and be disciplined,” said Hernandez. “We’re making some really nice adjustments as the season goes on.”
The Knights kept it going on Wednesday with another road win in West Hartford against Conard, 11-4.
“I told my girls going into the game not to take them lightly because they’re a good team and have a good pitcher,” said the coach. “I don’t think they made any errors and made good plays. We knew they were going to put runs on the board and were going to swing the bat. We did a great job again of holding our composure.”
Zazzaro (4-for-4) came up big again for the Knights with four RBI, including a home run and a triple. Paterson went 4-for-4 with a homerun and two RBI. Natalie Wadolowski (2-for-4) had a triple and a home run. Messenger and Ahern contributed RBI.
Sarantides led the Knights on the circle again, pitching the whole game with six strikeouts and two walks, allowing five hits and three earned runs.
“Brenna finished the game out and didn’t get rattled, which was great to see,” said Hernandez.
The Knights finished the week by mercy-ruling the NW Catholic, 15-0, in their first home game on Friday.
“Early in the game, we swung at some bad pitches,” the Knights coach said. “We didn’t make the best choices on pitch selection early in the game. We let some balls go by that we should have drove and were trying to hit some balls that we should have let go by. We made some adjustments and I was really happy to see the bottom of my lineup come through today. We had quite a few stolen bases today and ran the bases very well.”
Paterson went 2-for-3 with two RBI, a walk, and a homerun. Scafariello went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Messenger went 3-for-3 with a triple.
Zazzaro went 1-for-2 with a pair of RBI. She finished off the week by going 10-11 (.909) with seven runs, 11 RBI, a home run, a triple, and a double in only three games.
Sarantides pitch five innings and threw six strikeouts and two walks, allowing just one hit.
The Knights will look to stay perfect this week in Meriden against the Maloney Spartans (4-2).