Seymour softball remains perfect with 5-1 win over Torrington.
TORRINGTON: What sets Seymour Wildcats softball apart from the rest?
Take a meaningless play, up four runs in the bottom of the seventh against rival Torrington for example.
When Torrington center fielder Taylor Rogers attempted a bunt with two strikes, but sent it foul towards the Raiders bench, Wildcat first baseman Chelsea Avila went all out in an effort to make a play on a ball that was already an out.
In Seymour land though, you try and make every play you can and Avila hustled, just missed the ball before colliding hard with the fence near the Raiders dugout, injuring her right ankle so badly, she had to be removed by ambulance.
It was a tough way to end another great day for head coach Ken Pereiras and his unbeaten Wildcats who improve to 10-0 after a 5-1 win over the Raiders.
Here’s the thing about Seymour softball.
You make a mistake, they capitalize right away. You don’t make a mistake and their fundamentals are so good that they don’t beat themselves with mistakes.
If you don’t take advantage of every opportunity presented to you, the Wildcats will make you pay for it, as they did after the Raiders promising first inning on Monday.
After senior ace Ali DuBois held the visitors in the top of the first, fellow senior Alexis Tyrrell launched the first home run hit at the newly renovated Torrington High School softball field.
Tyrrell left no doubt about it with a shot over the left center field fence that kept on going.
After an out, the next two Raiders reached base as Carissa Carbone and DuBois each reached on singles.
Shortstop Lauren Jamieson attempted to move both runners over with a sacrifice but bunted a high pitch from Seymour ace Jenna Geffert but popped it back to the sophomore who caught Torrington pinch runner Mariah Herczeg too far off first and converted the inning ending double play.
Let Seymour off the hook at your own peril and the Raiders learned on several occasions on Monday.
Geffert settled down after the shaky first and allowed just a pair of singles the rest of the game although she did walk four batters.
“Jenna hadn’t pitched in nearly a week,” Pereiras said. “I think she was a little rusty but after that inning I think she pitched well.”
The Wildcats took the lead for good in the top of the third on hustle plays on their part and mental mistakes by the home team that helped.
Lead-off hitter Rebecca Johnson walked and promptly stole second and then third when the Raiders failed to cover third base, anticipating a bunt from the number two hitter, Shari Minagla.
Minagla eventually walked and stole second.
Both runners came around to score when Rebecca Findley, who beat the Raiders with a walk-of home run the first time the teams met, rocked a double down the third base line for a 2-1 Wildcats lead.
DuBois settled down after the two-run inning, striking out four of the next six batters on her way to a nine-strikeout afternoon.
Torrington, down just a run at 2-1, looked to make something happen in their half of the fourth but again short circuited their own rally with a base running mistake on their part and a heads up play by the visitors.
DuBois led off the frame with a walk and was pinch run for by Herczeg who was forced at second on a hard grounder to third off the bat of Jamieson.
Seymour got the lead runner, of course they did.
After a pop out, Taylor Rogers was at the plate and on a 1-1 count, Seymour backstop Kolby Sirowich threw behind Jamieson to second basemen Minagla who had gotten in behind her for the third out.
Seymour capitalizes on nearly every mistake you make.
The Torrington defense let DuBois down in the final three innings when Seymour added three more runs helped by three Torrington errors that allowed all the runs to score with just one base hit during the rallies.
DuBois and backstop Alyssa Dowd teamed up to get a runner at the plate on a grounder back to the mound to prevent further damage in the fifth when the lead went to 3-1.
Torrington had a chance in the bottom of the fifth, down by just that 3-1 score when they loaded the bases on an infield hit by Dowd and walks to Tyrrell and Nina Julian but the Wildcats made the play when Carbone hit a hard shot to third that was picked cleanly Victoria Kellogg and thrown to first for the final out.
“I am disappointed,” Raiders head coach Maryanne Musselman said after the game. “We didn’t make the plays we needed to and could not come up with key hits.”
Geffert struck out seven and gave up five hits and is fitting nicely into the big shoes left when her sister Raeanne graduated a year ago.
“I spent this whole winter preparing myself for this season.” Geffert said. “I knew I had big shoes to fill and I think prepared myself as well as I could and I think we are proving it out here on the field this year.”
The Wildcats have now beaten all the other top teams in the Naugatuck Valley League, the Raiders twice, Holy Cross and St Paul on their way to this mid-season perfect record.
It’s a treat to watch the Wildcats play the way they have now for many a season under Pereiras and his coaching staff.
They are so fundamentally sound and ready for any and every circumstance that comes up and that stems from practice.
“We work hard in practice, “Pereiras said. “We put these kids in every situation you could think of, we are always working on situations. When they come out here, we talk about every situation that could come up. We make sure they are thinking about what to do on every pitch.”
Teams will need to play near perfect games to get by the Wildcats this year, don’t give an inch. They’ll take the game.
NOTES: Here’s hoping for good news on Avila, who is the Wildcats clean-up hitter and a solid first basemen.
A tough injury for a talented junior.
The Raiders busy week continues as they are scheduled to travel to take on Wolcott on Tuesday before hosting Watertown on Wednesday, Sacred Heart on Thursday and East Granby on Saturday.