It was a highly anticipated rematch of last year’s semi-final, state championship match but Southington outscores Hall 18-4
By Paul Palmer
The highly anticipated rematch of last year’s state softball semi-final between Southington and Hall was pushed back by rain last week. Tuesday, it was Southington raining down hits and runs as the Knights overpowered Hall 18-4.
Southington wasted no time in getting on the board against one of the area’s best pitchers, Hall’s Sophie Garner-MacKinnon. A lead off walk and a pair of passed balls placed a runner at third with just the second batter of the game up. Elise Picard’s attempted bunt popped over the head of the charging Hall third baseman, scoring the first run and putting Picard on second. After another walk, Sam Rogers started her day with a two-run triple that made it 3-0.
In the bottom of the inning, Hall’s Steph Markie led off with a walk but three straight strikeouts by Southington starter Sam Sullivan closed things out. In the second inning the bottom fell out for Hall as some mental mistakes, and a lack of execution combined with some power from the Southington bats, put the game out of reach.
It started with an error by Hall, a walk, three passed balls, two stolen bases, and a wild pitch boosting the deficit to 5-0. As the lineup turned over for the visitors, Ashley Deslauriers ripped a shot to left center that went for the first of Southington’s homeruns. A single and a walk were then followed by Rogers getting the homerun portion of the cycle she hit for, as she drove a 3-2 pitch into the left-center gap and never stopped running and it was 9-0. A triple and a single would make it 10-0 before Hall got out of the second inning. In all the Knights sent 10 batters to the plate, hit two home runs, one triple, stole four bases and scored seven runs in the top half of the inning. “Mentally, we were not focused today,” said Hall head coach Rebecca Lewis. “Things we have been working on all week, we just did not do today.”
Proving why they are 19-time state champions, Southington manufactured two more runs in the third. After an error and a stolen base put Maddie Naperski on second, Garner-MacKinnon struck out a batter, but the ball got loose and when catcher Maddie Peterson made the throw to first for the put out, Naperski motored from second to score. Rogers would add an RBI to make it a 12-0 game after by the middle of the third inning.
Southington added six more in the fourth-and Rogers completed the cycle as she picked up her eighth RBI on Southington’s 17th run. Hall got on the board in the bottom of the fourth when Piper Garner-MacKinnon led off with a triple to right and came in to score on Tessa Hache’s single.
Facing a shortened game due to the lopsided scoring, Hall battled in the bottom of the fifth scratching out three more runs on a single by Piper Garner-MacKinnon and two more on an error by Southington’s first baseman on a ground ball by Grove. It was not enough and the game ended with the final Warriors out in the bottom of the fifth.
“I told them that it was not our day today,” said Lewis of her team. “ It is how we respond that matters.”
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