TORRINGTON - The most successful season in Torrington High School softball history came to an end Friday afternoon as the fourth-seeded Lady Raiders were eliminated from the Class L state tournament with a 5-1 loss to No. 5 Brookfield in a quarterfinal game at Torrington High School.
With a record of 21-4, the 2012 Lady Raiders will go down as the most successful softball team th school has ever had. Torrington last won a state tournament game in 2005 to advance to the second round.
Brookfield improves to 22-3 with the win and will meet No. 1 Foran of Milford in one state semifinal on Monday or Tuesday.
Torrington had a few chances and hit a number of balls hard off of Brookfield pitcher Brittany Fusek, but were unlucky at times and the Bobcats played solid defense and made plays when they had to.
Torrington pitcher Sydney Matzko started the game like most others this season getting the first two batter out on a groundout and a strikeout.
Then Brookifield shortstop Felicia Lennon belted a shot to left field for a home run and a 1-0 lead.
Brookfield added another run in the second after Ashley Lamparelli led off the inning with a single and Melissa Pierce drove her in with a double to make it 2-0.
"They are a hitting team, running team, they put the ball in play and have speed on the bases," Torrington coach Maryann Musselman said. "
The Bobcats added three more runs in the fourth inning to take total control at 5-0. They scored the runs despite getting just one hit in the inning as they also executed a squeeze bunt and got a bases loaded walk.
Meanwhile the Raiders weren't able to put enough hits together against Fusek to get back in the game.
In the first inning Matzko hit a shot to deep right that was caught and Morris was robbed on a bullet that was caught by second baseman Giuliana D’Arcangelo with a diving stab.
"They played us deep because they know their pitcher isn't overpowering," Musselman said. "When we hit the ball hard we hit it right at them and they made some plays."
In the fourth Torrington put two runners on including a long double by freshman catcher Marissa Morris but was unable to push a run across. Matzko was also robbed again this inning on a liner hit right at D’Arcangelo.
"That's been our way all season, Brittany pitches well, gets her four or five strikeouts and we have played good defense behind her," Brookfield coach Frank Bonacci said. "We don't give games away, that's something we have talked about all season, make teams beat you and we've been able to do that most of the season."
The Raiders broke through in the sixth as Matzko had an RBI triple to plate Nicole Jamieson, who singled to lead of the inning. It looked like Torrington was going to cut the deficit to 5-2 on a sac fly by Morris but pinch runner Aunchlee Riley was called out after Brookfield appealed for leaving the base too early.
Torrington got a double from Sam Pelow in the seventh but Brittany young popped out to third to end it.
Matzko went the distance allowing five runs runs and five hits with nine strikeouts and four walks. The five runs were the most scored off of her this season.
"They are a very good hitting team and my goal was to keep them off balance and they got the bat on some balls," Matzko said. "I wish I didn't get behind in some of the counts I did but I knew I couldn't leave the ball over the plate and I tried to work the corners, get some calls."
While it was a disappointing end of the season, the Raiders went down swinging and never quit and have a bright future. Shortstop Mollie Bartles is the only senior on the roster and Matzko has developed into one of the top pitchers in the state and is only a sophomore.
The outfield has two freshmen and a sophomore starting and with the infield only losing Bartles, the pieces appear to be in place for a good run over the next couple of seasons.
"We had a bunch of young kids out here and they made plays, stayed composed, I am very proud of this team," Musselman said. "The season was incredible, it was a great run. We can't forget what we did this season, we accomplished a lot and have come a long way."
And the Raiders have the look of a team that will go even further next season.