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Pincince’s RBI Single Gives Conard the Win Over Wethersfield

Conard vs. Wethersfield softball. April 19, 2023. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

Conard wins a wild 19-18 game in West Hartford over Wethersfield on Sophia Pincince’s seventh inning single.

Sadira Forcucci crosses the plate and gets the congratulations from teammates on her two-run homer. Conard vs. Wethersfield softball. April 19, 2023. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

By Paul Palmer

In a game full of wild swings in momentum, Conard softball rebounded from being down five runs in the first, and then giving up six runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game, to win it in the bottom of the final inning on Sophia Pincince’s line drive single to the wall in left that knocked in Sydney Miranda.

The bottom of the seventh saw Miranda lead off with a double and Sadira Forcucci follow with a walk. Pincince’s attempt to bunt the on the first pitch of her at bat was fouled off, but on the second pitch she drove a one-hopper off the wall in left. “I struggled all day and got down on myself after the first inning,” said the senior. “It was a perfect pitch, I swung and I saw it go,” Pincince said of her game winning hit.

Tatyana Datil struck out the first Eagles batter she faced in the first before the wheels fell off. A single, three walks, a double, and finally a two-run home run put the host Red Wolves in a 5-0 hole before they ever batted.

In the bottom half of the inning, they responded by sending 10 batters to the plate and evening the score. A pair of walks were followed by a two-run double from Forcucci. Miranda and Pincince followed with RBI singles, and Conard added on the final run in the inning on Sydney Meikle’s fielder’s choice.

Nina Ostafin (16) waits for Tatyanah Datil (12) to cross the plate in the second inning. Conard vs. Wethersfield softball. April 19, 2023. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

After Wethersfield scratched out a go-ahead run in the top of the second, Conard responded with five runs on five hits and three walks. Forcucci collected her third and fourth RBIs of the game with a two-run home run to right center field. Meikle would later drive in two with a single, and Amanda Hungerford knocked in the sixth of the inning with an infield single.

“They never quit,” said first year coach Kevin Mason of his Conard squad. “They fight every at bat.” Hungerford came in to pitch in the top of the third and gave up a pair of two-run RBI doubles, before striking out Kathryn St. Andrew with the tying run at third. 

It would be the top of the fifth before either team scored again. Bella Tomaino cracked a two-run home run to left field on a 3-1 pitch to drive in her fourth run in two at-bats, to give the visitors a 12-11 lead. Conard once again answered in the bottom of the inning with five runs of their own. Meikle and Charlene Rodriguez each drove in a pair with back-to-back doubles, and Miranda drove a line drive off Tomaino’s leg to bring in their 16th run and 29th of the game.

Teammates wait for Nina Ostafin as she heads home after her solo home run against Wethersfield. Conard vs. Wethersfield softball. April 19, 2023. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

Hungerford held Wethersfield scoreless in the top of the sixth  and in the bottom half of the inning Nina Ostafin homered down the left field line and Noel Denault made it 18-12 on the game’s strangest play. Her hot shot got through the hole at short. The ball then bounded past the charging left fielder and as Denault headed for third base, the relay throw went wide, allowing her to score.

Holding a six-run lead entering the last inning in regulation, Hungerford walked the first batter before getting the next batter on a fielder’s choice. With one on and one out, she hit the next batter, then allowed an RBI single. A pair of passed balls made it 18-15. Ostafin then came in on relief, striking out the first batter she faced before issuing a walk that brought Tomaino to the plate. The senior delivered with a two-run double to bring the Eagles within one run. A wild pitch and passed ball would allow her to score as the tying run before Ostafin got out of the inning with a line drive to Forcucci.

Pincince would end things with her late heroics in the bottom of the inning to move Conard to 4-2 on the season. “We’re really good at picking each other up,” Pincince said of her team. “We’re always communicating and that is the best thing we can do for each other.”

Charlene Rodriguez drove in three of Conard’s 19 runs in the win. Conard vs. Wethersfield softball. April 19, 2023. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

On the day Pincince would knock in two, Meikle five, Forcucci four, and Rodriguez three, while Miranda was 4-for-4 at the plate..

“I’m proud of them,” Mason said. “They could have gotten down, but they came back and hit the ball hard.” In their four wins this season, Conard has scored 70 total runs with a pair of one-run wins, and a pair of blow out victories. The win over Wethersfield came one day after a 16-0 win over Northwest Catholic.

The Red Wolves close out the week on Friday when they welcome 4-2 Middletown.

First year head coach Kevin Mason talks to his players before the start of Wednesday’s 19-18 win over Wethersfield. Conard vs. Wethersfield softball. April 19, 2023. Photo credit: Paul Palmer

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