DuBois K's 19 in nine-inning, 2-1 win over Rockville. Raiders head home after great Florida trip.
WALT DISNEY WORLD, FLORIDA: It was a marathon. It was a battle.
It was a game that will serve both the victors and the vanquished as they make their way through the remainder of the regular season and beyond.
In their last official game before heading back to the cooler regions of the East Coast, the Torrington Raiders softball team had an early wake-up call as they battled Rockville.
Call it a potential state tournament match-up between two Class L power teams who went all out on Thursday, trying to get out of town with a win.
Torrington ace Ali Dubois squared off against Rockville standout Morgan Bolduk any after the Raiders put up a single run in the first on an RBI single by DuBois that plated leadoff batter Alexis Tyrrell, not much happened on either side.
Tyrrell had led off the bottom of the first with a double down the left field line and moved on to third on a perfect sacrifice by Nina Julian.
DuBois then got the last Raiders hit or baserunner until the sixth as Bolduk settled in, retiring 14 in a row until giving up a single to Tyrrell in the bottom of the sixth.
Meanwhile, DuBois was dealing, striking out the side in the fourth and fifth innings on her way to 14 during regulation action.
Rockville put their leadoff hitter on base in the second and fourth innings but DuBois just got stronger with runners on.
That would multiple as the game went on.
The Raiders would surrender a run in the top of the sixth on a ball in the dirt that bounced up the third base line, allowing the visitors to know things at one and give those on hand the feeling they might be there a while longer.
When neither team scored again through seven, the game went into extras with a twist.
A runner was placed in scoring position at second base to make things a bit more interesting.
The batter who made the last out of the previous inning was placed at second and in their half of the eighth, Rockville put Mackenzie Correa on second and sent her on the first pitch trying to steal third but Raider catcher Alyssa Dowd gunned her down with a terrific throw to Carissa Carbone for the all-important first out.
In their half of the frame, Amanda Thiel led off with a double but was stranded there as the next two batter were our called out after trying to bunt but got hit by the ball as they made their way out of the box.
Things got sticky for DuBois right off the bat in the ninth when the runner on second moved to third on a wild pitch.
As she is known for doing though, DuBois settled down and struck out the side to give her team another shot at leaving Florida with two important official game wins.
Tyrrell, who ended the day 3 for 5 and a pair of runs scored, led off with a single and on another great bunt by Julian, kept going all the way to third when the Rockville left fielder was slow to come in and cover the bag.
Carbone, who had a great week at the plate in Florida, stepped up and bounced a grounder to deep short that the shortstop fielded but went to first instead of home and Tyrrell scored on the out.
DuBois would finish with a remarkable 19 strike outs in her longest outing of her career and Torrington got the two wins they needed (five overall) to go home with a 2-1 mark with a busy week staring on Monday when they host Woodland.
Something tells me it won’t be 80 and sunny when we get back.
NOTES: If you have never been to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Put it on a bucket list somewhere, it’s worth the visit.
The place is massive with fields for baseball, softball, soccer, track and any form of sport you like, it’s a sportsman’s dream.
During the week, legions of youngsters roamed the grounds, dressed in their best uniforms as they prepared to play on the pristine facilities.
Want to see the next generation of basketball players? They were here this week as well.
Over 60 different sports have been played at this site and when prepare to enter the site, a massive structure under construction greets you. It looks like a potential football or baseball venue but it’s actually a nearly 300,000 square foot stadium that will primarily be used for cheerleading.
It will fit 8000 spectators and can also be used for basketball, volleyball or even concerts.
It’s Disney, it will be big and spectacular.