Spar­tan bats bat­ter Ea­gles

Connecticut Post (Sunday) - - Sports - By Doug Bon­jour

WEST HAVEN — Five days af­ter stag­ing one of the most mem­o­rable come­backs in the Class LL soft­ball tour­na­ment, fifth­seeded Amity was back to busi­ness. There was a cham­pi­onship at stake, and the Spar­tans made sure not to let it slip out of their grasp.

Show­ing the same poise and de­ter­mi­na­tion at the plate that helped fuel their mirac­u­lous sev­enth- in­ning rally against Southing­ton in the semi­fi­nals, the Spar­tans made the most of their re­turn to the big stage. They knocked around Trum­bull’s pitch­ing for 17 hits and rolled to a 13- 7 vic­tory in the LL fi­nal on Satur­day at Biondi Field.

“We needed to hit. We knew we needed to string hits to­gether and get on the board early and as of­ten as we can,” Amity coach Sara Hale said. “We wanted to win ev­ery in­ning.”

The Spar­tans de­liv­ered all the of­fense they needed. Seven dif­fer­ent play­ers tal­lied at least one hit, in­clud­ing Brooke Matyasovsky and Danielle Nordyk. The duo com­bined to go 9- for- 10 at the plate and were named co- MVPs of the tour­na­ment.

“You have to credit Amity,” Trum­bull coach Jac­qui Sheftz said. “Seven­teen hits, that’s ob­vi­ously no joke.”

For the Spar­tans, it was their first ti­tle since 2012 and sixth in pro­gram his­tory. It was the per­fect end­ing to a sea­son that in­cluded 24 wins in 28 tries and a run­ner- up fin­ish in the SCC tour­na­ment.

Bid­ding for its sec­ond straight state cham­pi­onship, Trum­bull ( 24- 3) watched the Spar­tans jump out to an 11- 0 lead af­ter five in­nings. That lead grew to 13 runs in the sev­enth be­fore Trum­bull tried stag­ing a rally against right- han­der Grace Whit­man. A grand slam by first base­man Court­ney Fair­field cut the lead to 13- 5, but Kelly Pritchard came on to record the fi­nal out. A lon­gawaited cel­e­bra­tion en­sued.

“We wanted to have fun and we wanted to play hard,” said Matyasovsky, who went 4- for- 5 with a game- high six RBIs, in­clud­ing a two- run sin­gle to open the scor­ing in the first in­ning. “I think that we wanted it more.”

Nordyk, the cen­ter fielder, had five hits, in­clud­ing a sin­gle off Macken­zie Brugge­man in the sixth in­ning to give the Spar­tans an 11- 0 lead. Marissa Dwyer went 2- for- 4 with two RBIs, and Ni­cole Koshes added a two- run triple.

The Spar­tans, who staged a five- run rally to beat Southing­ton 6- 5 in the semi­fi­nals on Mon­day, made their at- bats count against Brugge­man and re­liever Emily Gell. They held leads of 4- 0 af­ter the third in­ning and 8- 0 af­ter the fourth.

“When we started hit­ting, we started scor­ing more runs, which mo­ti­vated us to score even more,” Nordyk said.

Added Sheftz: “De­fen­sively, my team, through­out this sea­son, made some of those plays that we didn’t quite make to­day. That’s soft­ball. Amity found holes. Their hit­ters found holes, and we hit balls at peo­ple.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Brooke Matyasovsky, Amity: The se­nior had four hits and drove in six runs to pace the Spar­tans’ at­tack.

QUOTABLE

“We were on a roll. We knew we could do it. We had con­fi­dence in them.” — Amity coach Sara Hale

CLOSE CALL

Trum­bull left fielder Ava Dunn ap­peared to throw out Danielle Nordyk at the plate in the third in­ning, but Nordyk was ruled safe be­cause of an ob­struc­tion call. It was a crit­i­cal mo­ment in the game for both sides, as Amity saw its lead grow to 3- 0 with still only one out on the scoreboard. The Spar­tans went on to score an­other run in the frame on a dou­ble by Melissa Dwyer. “I think that’s a huge call in a state play­off game,” Ea­gles coach Jac­qui Sheftz said. “It’s 2- 0 and you get that ob­struc­tion call. That would’ve been out No. 2. The next girl ( grounded out), we would’ve been out of the in­ning. … I think that was a huge turn­ing point.”

Chris­tian Abra­ham / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Trum­bull’s Court­ney Fair­field ( 13) con­soles team­mate Ju­lia Huzi af­ter the Ea­gles’ 13- 7 loss to Amity in the Class LL cham­pi­onship in West Haven on Satur­day.

Chris­tian Abra­ham / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Amity’s Danielle Nordyk catches a pop fly against Trum­bull on Satur­day in the Class LL ti­tle game.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.