Torrington softball doesn't let adversity get the best of them, down Bunnell 5-0.
TORRINGTON: If adversity builds character, consider the Torrington softball team full of the admirable attribute.
A responsive and resilient Raiders team shook off losing two high quality players (who left the team last week for their own reasons) to beat a Bunnell team that had ruined their post season two years ago.
Led by their talented battery and a sophomore infielder who keyed a pair of rallies, the Raiders beat Bunnell by a 5-0 final and live to play another day (Thursday) when they host East Lyme at 4 p.m. in Class L second round action.
The battery is made up of a senior (Marissa Morris) and a sophomore (a gutty Ali DuBois) and the duo, especially Morris, was not going to let anything get in the way of the home team moving on, no matter who played.
Commitment issues seemed to have played a part in the departure of the two seniors who left the team but the future UConn Huskies backstop was not looking to use it as an excuse in any way.
“We want people who are committed 100 percent of the way,” Morris said, “Not just three quarters of the way. We were not going to let this affect us. We’re not going to just lay down because of this.”
It’s an unforgiving time, this post season with it’s one and done reality and early against Bunnell starter, Lauren Anderson, the Raiders were a bit off. Anderson had a strange motion but was not overpowering. It took a bit of time for the home team to adjust.
“It was a little bit of us being anxious,” Morris said, “We just had to settle back in our shoes and wait on it a little better. It took us a few innings to adjust but we did.”
The second time through the lineup proved much more challenging for the Bulldogs hurler, as Torrington struck with a two-out rally started by CC Carbone, who made her first ever start at third.
Carbone lined a single to center and came all the way around on a long triple by sophomore shortstop Lauren Jamieson for a 1-0 Raider lead.
Morris was next and launched a long drive to left center that cleared the outfield and allowed the future Division I star to come all the way around for a two-run home run and a 3-0 lead.
That takes us to the gutsy sophomore who took the mound with a pulled hamstring that could not have felt good but didn’t stop her from throwing gas.
DuBois would be tested early when the visitors put runners on second and third with just one out and passed with flying colors by getting the next two batters looking at strike three.
It was a point in the game that shouldn’t be overlooked. Who knows what happens if a team that has been through what Torrington had been over the last week responds if they go down early.
The home team broke through again in their half of the fifth inning, a rally started by the young sophomore third basemen who led off with a single to left.
Showing her base running prowess, Carbone took second as Jamieson was caught looking by straying far enough off first to draw a throw from the Bulldogs catcher and then snuck in under the tag at second.
Morris would drive in her third run with a long double to put Torrington up 4-0. Carbone may have scored from first but her heads up and daring base running paid off.
DuBois would drill a long drive over the center fielders head but had to settle for a single with the hamstring issue but Morris came around to score.
How big was the play of Carbone? Huge, just listen to the senior captain.
“She really stepped up,” Morris said, “CC had some big shoes to fill at third and at the bat but she did a great job with both.”
Her manager was equally impressed.
“She’s just a natural athlete,” Mussleman said, “She fields everything that comes her way, she can run like deer, she hits the ball. She got thrown into a position she had not played all year and while she’s still not sure of some things, she doing great.”
On a day that could have gone in another direction with a lesser character team, the one with what seems to be a very bright future at the next level came through in a big way, as usual.
“She has done that all year,’ Musselman said, speaking of Morris, “She’s sacrificed personally a lot, to stay through April vacation, prom, everything that tugs at seniors. She has stayed dead fast and she’s going to play at UConn.”
DuBois would finish with a dozen strike outs in posting her first State Tournament win.
With the rain days Monday and Tuesday, the Raiders play Thursday and if they win, again on Friday.
Playing with the hand you are dealt and not complaining about it.
Character stuff if one ever saw it.