Hall High School hosted Farmington on Wednesday in West Hartford.
By Paul Palmer
It took a few games, but Hall softball team found its offense and cruised to a 21-5 win over Farmington.
The Titans had totaled just six runs in their previous seven games and had not scored more than two in any one game. The win was also the first for new head coach McKenna Driscoll and came with a number of their senior captains unavailable due to a field trip.
“These kids are amazing. After our rough start it would be easy to fall, but when you stay loose, and have fun, you win games,” said Driscoll.
Both teams entered the game looking for an initial win in the season. The River Hawks got on the board in the top of the first thanks to a pair of singles and a passed ball. In the bottom of the inning, the Titans showed they were resilient and ready to play. Ella Pesce led off with a single and advanced to third on a pair of passed balls. She came around to score Isabella Mangini ‘s RBI single. Hall would add a second run when Mangini came in on Maya Frankel’s single to right.
Hall starting pitcher Sophia DeLuca got out of a jam with two strikeouts in the second and a great diving catch by right fielder Margaret Kinney. The hosts would send seven batters to the plate in the bottom of the second and push across three more runs.
The Titans built their runs with a leadoff double by DeLuca that was followed by a walk, before Pesce was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Kinney would rap into a run scoring fielders choice, and an error on the same play allowed two runs to score. Isabella Mangini drove in the fifth run for Hall with a groundout to short.
After giving up a run in the third, Hall responded again this time putting up a four-spot on Farmington without a hit. The River Hawks gave up three walks and committed two errors in the field, to make it a 9-3 Hall lead.
The Titans blew the game open when they sent 18 batters to the plate and scored 12 times in the bottom of the fourth.
Molly Grove and DeLuca started it all with back-to-back doubles. A series of walks, combined with two errors and an RBI single from Mangini accounted for the dozen runs. Leading by 18 and entering the top of the fifth, DeLuca surrendered two runs before getting an infield pop out and then striking out the final two Farmington batters she faced to complete the five-inning game.
“This team is strong and our coaches have told us to never give up,” said DeLuca after the win.
The senior pitcher would collect two doubles and draw a pair of walks. “She only allowed three walks,” said Driscoll of her pitcher. “We put in a lot of work and I am glad we got the win for Sophia.”
The praise goes both ways as DeLuca said that her first-year head coach has brought a lot to the table. “She has done so much in such short time,” DeLuca said of Driscoll, who served as an assistant coach last season with the team. “ She has just given so much to this program.”
Hall has another home game to end this week, hosting Berlin Friday afternoon, beginning at 3:45 p.m.
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