Defending champs crush Mount
Coventry takes advantage of mistakes in D-I victory
WOONSOCKET — You just can’t make mistakes against the defending state champions.
The Mount St. Charles softball trailed Coventry by five runs with two outs in the fourth inning when Coventry All-State shortstop Kaitlin Mattera hit a ground ball that should’ve been the third out of the inning.
Instead, the ball was thrown away, allowing Lauren Giampietro to scamper home. One batter later, pinch hitter Brianna Marino lashed a two-run single to left and the Oakers tacked on four more runs in the fifth inning to secure a 12-1 mercy-rule victory over the Mounties in a Division I crossover contest Wednesday afternoon.
“You can’t make that many mistakes against a good team like Coventry, but we had a lot of people playing out of position today,” Mount coach Cliff Matthews said. “We had a very thin roster going into this game and we only had one player on the bench.
“From our perspective, whoever goes on the field has to pick up the slack on the field and we just didn’t do that today.”
“We’re starting to hit now, too,” said Coventry coach Chris Daigneault, who has piloted the Oakers to three state titles and five state title game appearances in the last seven years. “I told them after the first two innings to attack the ball because (Mount pitcher Taylor Newcomb) was throwing the ball near the strike zone. We started attacking the ball and hitting the ball to gaps with power.”
Coventry (9-4 Division ISouth) has now won six of its last seven games headed into Thursday’s non-league contest with D-II powerhouse Moses Brown. The Oakers received a second consecutive impressive pitching performance from senior Maxine Colvin, who struck out five and allowed just four hits in five innings of work.
“I think it’s important that I pitch well, but this is a group effort and it’s not all on me,” Colvin said. “We all need to work together and a lot of the attitude on the team comes from being positive.”
Mount St. Charles (5-7 Division I-North) came into the game playing its best softball of the season after winning four of its previous five games. But, the Mounties likely knew it was going to be a long day when their best offensive player, junior outfielder Emily D’Abrosca, had to leave the game with a leg muscle injury.
The Mounties don’t have time to lick their wounds because Thursday afternoon Lincoln comes to town looking to avenge 7-0 defeat the Mounties handed them at Saylesville on April 11.
“We have to bounce back,” Matthews said. “We just have to plug in people and coach them up going forward. We’ve been playing some excellent ball and I really liked where we were, but this week the roof is caving in with all of the injuries. We’re not a team that travels with 18-20 kids, so any team right now where we are is battling for a playoff seed.”
The lone bright spot for the Mounties was No. 7 hitter Riley Mulligan, who crushed a double in the second inning and plated Marissa Santoro with an RBI single in the fourth inning to account for Mount’s lone run.
Coventry had plenty of offensive standouts, as sophomore lead-off hitter Mackenzie Ricci cranked a two-run home run as part of a four-RBI afternoon. Freshman speedster Jordan Dwyer and sophomore designated player Leah Giampietro each scored two runs and drove in a run.
The only negative for the Oakers was All-State sophomore catcher Jess DaBreo, who caught every inning of last season, had to leave the game in the fourth inning after she was hit in her throwing hand by a foul ball.
DaBreo was in the game in the first inning when Coventry grabbed the only two runs it would need when Brooke Keresztessy scored Dwyer with a groundout and Mattera scored on a wild pitch.
Ricci increased the lead to 5-0 in the second with a tworun home run to right field. The runs were more than enough for Colvin, who struck out a pair of Mounties in the second and third innings before giving up her only run in the fourth.
“When she’s pitching like that we’re dangerous,” Daigneault said. “On Saturday [a 10-3 loss to La Salle] she was 7-10 miles off of her speed today. She still needs to hit her spots a little more. I think Max can do it. She’s been on all season long and the La Salle game was the only one where she wasn’t.”
The Oakers escaped Woonsocket two innings early, as Giampietro (RBI single), Ricci (two-run single) and Dwyer (RBI triple) produced run-scoring hits against Mount reliever Mackenzie Morin.