Dubois finds a way and Raiders beat Greyhounds, 4-1.
TORRINGTON-Good pitchers need to find a way to win, even if their good stuff may not have come with them to the park that day.
Torrington junior Ali Dubois had that kind of day on Friday afternoon when she faced off against rival Naugatuck.
“Nothing was working at times today,” Dubois said. “Sometimes if I try to overthrow with my fastball, it will go inside. I didn’t throw any curves today because all I have been throwing is curves, it’s like my go-to pitch but my finger that I use to throw the pitch has been killing me.”
The junior hurler did find enough and got by on moxie, some timely hitting and one tremendous double-play as the Raiders got by the Greyhounds by a 4-1 final.
Fellow junior Alexis Tyrell stroked a two-run double in the bottom of the fourth driving in Amanda Thiel and Sidnee Kovall to give the home team a 3-0 lead.
Dubois struck out seven but walking an uncharacteristic four batters as she battled to find something that worked.
Torrington got on the board first with a run in the top of the second with the help of some shaky Naugy defense.
With one out, junior third basemen Carissa Carbone lined a single to right that was misplayed into a two-base error that left her at third.
Kovall then laid down a perfect bunt for a base hit that scored Carbone for the game’s first run.
Staked to a one run lead, Dubois walked the leadoff hitter and after a strikeout, faced runners on first and second after a bunt popped over the charging Carbone at third for a base hit.
Another walk after her second strikeout of the frame loaded the bases with two outs but the junior ace induced a comebacker that got her out of the jam.
Torrington had a runner called out at the plate on a close play in their half of the third and lost another when a runner got caught off third on a bunt attempt.
Two runs given away can sometimes come back to haunt a team but Dubois set Naugatuck down in order to start the fourth, giving her team a chance to give her a cushion, which they did.
Amanda Thiel, who has been hitting the cover off the ball of late, blasted a long triple to left center to start the inning.
Kovall put down a terrific bunt which she beat out while Thiel stayed at third, not wanting to short circuit a rally.
Tyrell then lined her two-run double past short for the breathing room her team needed.
“I was just looking for any kind of hit to get somebody in,” Tyrell said.
Nina Julian added an RBI on an infield single and the Raiders took a 4-0 lead going into the fifth.
The Greyhounds threatened in their half of the sixth and that great defensive play I talked about in the open came into play.
A walk and a one out single put Greyhounds on first and third with just that one out. A rally could have been at hand.
Naugy’s Taya Diaz then hit a hard ground ball to Tyrell at second who made a perfect flip to Jamieson who made a terrific turn and throw to first, just nipping the runner.
The feed from Tyrell was perfect and Jamieson came across the bag at just the right time to complete the very smooth twin killing.
One benefit of not having Dubois strike out the world is that her defense gets a chance to help her out.
Keeping your fielders involved is not a bad thing and it paid off on Friday.
Why did that double-play, a rarity in high school softball get pulled off with relative ease?
“We have been working on that play for a very long time,” Tyrell said, “Me and Lauren (Jamieson) always practice it so it finally paid off.”
Having a dependably group in the field is critical for Torrington as the regular season races along. How does head coach Maryanne Mussleman feel about her defense?
“I’m very confident in my infield and outfield defense,” Musselman said. “They don’t panic when it gets hit.”
Torrington takes on St Paul on the road on Monday then host Wilby on Wednesday and Woodland on Friday. Eight games remain in the regular season.