Raiders softball makes it to quarterfinals for first time in school history. Meet North Haven at home at 4 p.m. today.
Sophomore Ali DuBois and the Torrington softball team is in the Class L quarterfinals after beating East Lyme by a 4-0 final. North Haven visits THS on Friday at 4 p.m.
TORRINGTON: Maybe they are just young enough not to understand the magnitude of being in the States, a place that has not always been kind to the Torrington softball team over the years.
With but 11 players on the roster, the No. 5 Raider girls rode the hitting and heads up play of sophomore Alexis Tyrell to a 4-0 win over visiting East Lyme (No 12) and a trip to the quarterfinals on Friday at 4 p.m.
In an upset, No. 20 North Haven beat the No. 4 seed from Rockville, giving Torrington another home game with a trip to the semi-finals on the line.
How young are the Raiders? Eight of the eleven players are just in their second year in high school.
“I call them my Warriors,” manager Maryanne Musselman said, “They are so young, they don’t even recognize how well they are doing.”
Start with the Warrior on the mound, tenth grader Ali DuBois who is playing with a pulled hamstring that limits her running but has not slowed her on the mound at all.
DuBois struck out 10 and allowed just three hits after striking out a dozen in a 5-0 win on Wednesday against Bunnell.
DuBois helped herself with a booming double that scored CC Carbone with the game’s first run in the bottom of the first before Tyrell launched a three run home run to deep center in the third for all the support her pitcher would need.
A heads up play by Tyrell helped keep the Vikings off the board in the top of the fifth when Sage Dubreuil hit what appeared to be a home run to deep center.
The Raiders sophomore second basemen noticed that Dubreuil has completely missed second base and was called out when Tyrell took the throw back from the outfield and stepped on second.
This marks the farthest a Torrington softball team has ever advanced in the State Tournament and with the outlook this young team has, who knows what might happen.
Their ability to deal with adversity is one of the things we love about sports.
Losing two key players so late in the season, as the Raiders did last week, could be a crushing blow for most teams but this group seems to be thriving on it.
It’s hard to explain but this team looks as comfortable as they have all season at a time that teams may tend to tense up at the magnitude of the task at hand.
Having a Division I bound leader behind the plate doesn’t hurt either and senior Marissa Morris is being every bit the leader her team leads at this point.
Never afraid to throw behind any runner at any time, Morris picked off a runner at second with two outs and a runner in scoring position in the top of the third.
Having a gusty player on the mound doesn’t hurt either and DuBois is standing out for playing through the pain of the balky hammy that hurts her more when running than pitching but still can’t be an easy thing.
For the second straight game, DuBois stranded a runner on third after giving up a leadoff triple after her team had taken a 4-0 lead the half inning before.
In her first year at the helm on the rubber for Torrington, DuBois has already emerged as one of the best in the Naugatuck Valley League, her performances to date in the states has been equally impressive.
So, it’s Torrington versus North Haven for a trip to the semi-finals next week.
Count this Raider team out at your own risk. Nobody has expected much out of them since they lost those two key players who are certainly missing a pretty great run.