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Raiders girls lose a tough one even as Sydney Matzko contiunes to shine on the mound for Torrington. A story by John Torsiello.

POSTED May 05, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


By, JOHN TORSIELLO

TORRINGTON-It was a classic pitcher’s duel on a chilly May day at Torrington High School.

The Raiders’ Sydney Matzko locked up with Watertown’s Meg Cordon in one of those contests that you just knew one run would make all the difference…and it did.

Watertown scored the only tally of the game in the top of the seventh inning, as the Indians won their ninth game against four losses with a 1-0 victory.

“I love pitcher’s duals because they are so intense and you are locked up with the other pitcher trying to outdo each other,” said Cordon, a senior, who allowed just two hits and struck out eight batters.

“Those two kids were on today and I figured it was going to be a play made or not made in the field that decided the game,” offered a smiling Watertown head coach Keith Borkowski, whose gutsy call for a steal of third by Nicole Hodorowski with two outs in the top of the seventh inning led to the only run of the contest.

Hodorowski had third cleanly stolen when the throw down to the bag went wild and into short left field, allowing her to race across the plate.

“I knew coach was going to call the steal because of where the shortstop was playing,” said Hodorowski, a junior. “When I hit third I saw the ball get loose and coach yelled at me to go, so I just took off for home.”

Condon helped her own cause by successfully bunting Hodorowski to second after the latter led off the inning by singling to center field.

This has been an enjoyable season for Condon after she missed 18 games last year because of a back injury.

Said Borkowski of his star hurler, “She has worked her butt off to get back from her injury and I’m just thrilled for her to pitching so well this year.”

On his risky steal call with two outs in the top of the seventh, the Watertown coach said, “I just figured we had to make something happen with the way she (Matzko) was pitching. No one had been forced to make a play in the field and I figured give the steal a shot and see what happens.”

It was a nice bounce back win for the Indians, who got one-hit by Seymour’s Stef Burt Monday afternoon in a 13-0 loss.

The loss ended a seven-game win streak by Torrington.

The run spoiled a brilliant pitching performance by Matzko, a slender, hard-throwing lefthander who is poised beyond her years. The freshman allowed just three hits and fanned 13 batters. On Monday she had 16 strikeouts when the Raiders rallied with four runs in the top of the sixth inning to beat Naugatuck, 4-3.

“She is only a freshman and she is going to be outstanding,” said Torrington head coach Maryann Musselman. “She’s already pitching great and she is such a nice kid and a super student.”

On the key play of the game, Musselman said, “I figured it would come down to a mistake in the field and we were the ones who made it.”

Torrington, which fell to 9-5, is a relatively young team, with three freshmen and a sophomore starting.

Matzko, whose senior sister, Chelsea, plays first base for the Raiders and had both of Torrington’s hits Thursday, was in complete control throughout the game.

Watertown finally got a runner to second base when Marisa White led off the top of the sixth with a double, but Matzko got out of the inning with no damage. She could hardly be faulted for allowing Watertown’s run, and actually fanned two batters in the seventh to push her total to a baker’s dozen.

So, 29 strikeouts and only six hits in two games and you walk away with one win. That might irritate some pitchers but Matzko isn’t like that, said Musselman.

“She doesn’t get rattled and just goes about her business.”

Both clubs will continue to throw their aces out there as they hope to finish the season strong. Watertown faces a brutal stretch where the Indians have eight games in 12 days, and Torrington needs to regroup quickly as it takes on Holy Cross Monday.

Watertown 000 000 1 1 3 0

Torrington 000 000 0 0 2 1

Meg Condon and Nikki Thomas: Sydney Matzko and Talia Zabbara. SO: Condon, 8; Matzko 13. Records: W, 9-4, T, 9-5.

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