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Raiders drop a 3-1 decision to Guilford in Class L State Tournament action.

POSTED June 01, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


Torrington third baseman, Talia Zabbara, send a shot back to the mound that was caught by the Guilford pitcher for the last out of the Raiders 3-2 loss to the Indians in Class L first round action.

TORRINGTON-"If we just learn how to stay out of that one inning,” Sydney Matzko said, “We can do great things.”

The Torrington High freshman hurler, who made a name for herself in her inaugural season in the Naugatuck Valley League, summed up the positive and the negative that made up the 2011 Raiders softball season.

The season came to an end in a Class L opening round, 3-1 loss to visiting Guilford, who took advantage of three, first inning Raiders errors to plate all three of their runs.

Avoiding that one inning had plagued the Raiders in big spots all year; 2-0 and 1-0 losses to Holy Cross where games the Raiders might have win if not for a couple of untimely miscues.

On the bright side, this is one young team that started four freshman and a sophomore who will be a year older and wiser 10 months from now when the softball rolls again.

Against the lesser teams in the NVL, shoddy play can often be wiped out by a productive offense.

Not at this time of the year.

“Every pitcher you face this time of the year is that teams number one,” coach Maryann Musselman said, "We can’t give up runs because we sometimes have a hard time hitting the ball.”

Before the crowd could settle in on Tuesday, the Indians had taken full advantage of three straight errors on play the Raiders usually make.

The inning had it all; miscommunication, wild throws and dropped balls.

Take away that inning from Matzko and company and it’s potentially another 1-0 win for the Raiders.

Matzko settled down, as did her teammates, after the rough top of the first and mounted a rally of their own in the bottom of the frame.

Senior Talia Zabbara, who is one of the key players that will be lost to graduation, led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Nikki Jamieson.

Jamieson is one of those players that improved her game in the field and at the plate all season and will be a key part of the 2012 Raiders.

Sydney Matzko beat out an infield hit with Zabbara hustling to third to put runners at the corners with just one out.

Chelsea Matzko, older sister of Sydney and a staple on this team the past four years, hit a roller back to the mound that was fielded by Guilford pitcher Leah Torre, who threw on to first for the out.

As the throw left Torre’s hand, Zabbara made a break for the plate and slid in just under the throw back from first for the Raiders only run.

Both pitchers settled down after the second inning; Torre retired 12 in a row at one point while Matzko set down 14 straight.

The Raiders had one more chance in the top of the fifth when Zabbara reached on an error by the Indians shortstop with two outs and promptly stole second.

Jamieson dumped a single into left field, just beyond short and Zabbara moved over to third.

Jamieson moved up to second when the Indians tried to get Zabbara at third, setting up second and third with two outs.

Sydney Matzko came to the plate with a chance to tie things with a hit and worked the count to 3-2 before Torre got her with a high fastball for the third out.

The Raiders ended the day with just two hits while the Indians managed five of Matzko.

Understanding what they have to work on for next year is half the battle and this years successful Raiders campaign should help build the confidence level of a young team that should only get better.

 

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