BRISTOL – The Bristol Eastern and Bristol Central softball teams met for the second time this season, following an eight-inning 2-1 win for the Lancers on May 6.
The Rams kept the same defensive focus from that pitcher’s duel a few weeks ago, allowing just two runs once again, but also put their bats to work this time, finishing their regular season with a 13-2 win over their cross town rivals. Senior shortstop Gwen Torreso and sophomore catcher Lorelei Stancavage proved why they bat in the middle of the order, notching six and five RBI, respectively while each hitting two-run home runs.
“They were so disciplined at the plate today,” head coach Monica Hayes said. “Our approach was to make her to make her throw as many pitches as possible, I thought we did that. We capitalized on every pitch, mistake we had some home runs, bloopers too, those are a back breaker when you’re playing defense. Everything just went our way, as well. I’m just really proud of them from coming back from the heartbreak of the last game [against Eastern].”
Sophomore pitcher Alex Sciarretto was a problem for the Eastern batters as she continued her stellar season from the circle, striking out 14 over seven innings and only allowing four base runners. Central finishes the regular season 14-3 with an eight-game winning streak and will await seeding for the CCC Tournament while the Lancers finish 13-6 and are looking to find out their first state tournament opponent.
“I was really interested to see how she was going to comeback after that last performance, but she’s been pitching like that all season long,” Hayes said. “She doesn’t seem bothered by the situation or the stages she was on today, she was just laser focused.”
Sciarretto opened the contest by striking out the side for the first of four times in the top of the first inning. The Rams didn’t wait to build their lead as a one-out double from sophomore center fielder Sam Sklenka ignited her team’s four run inning. Torreso drove Sklenka in on the next at bat and Stancavage followed her with a two-run blast. Back-to-back doubles with two outs from Sciarretto and freshman right fielder Leah Sklenka added the final run of the inning, but Central was far from done.
“I was just looking for anything close because I wasn’t expecting anything close,” Torreso said. “I was really keeping it in my strike zone, nothing special I was just waiting for one down the middle and I got them.”
Sciarretto tossed another three-batter inning in the second and was continuing to find a rhythm against Eastern. She then received more run support in the next frame when the Rams capitalized on a fielding error and Torreso hit her first of two RBI doubles as they scored three more runs that inning. All nine central players batted in the third and added four more runs to the scoreboard courtesy of consecutive two-RBI doubles from Torreso and Stancavage.
Torreso put forth her best piece of hitting in the fifth inning, already leading 11-0, when she boosted a two-run shot over the wall to center field. The homer capped off a huge offensive day for her and her team and was her first win over the Lancers in any sport over the last four years.
“Our team really came together today, especially from losing 2-1 the last time we played them,” Torreso said. “All the seniors, this is the first time beating Eastern in anything is just best feeling.”
Eastern found a spark in the seventh inning, getting two of their four hits on the day with consecutive singles from senior third baseman Jasmine Perez and junior catcher Janessa Gonzalez. Grace D’Amato, who was the only Lancers’ batter to not be struck out by Sciarretto, brought both runners home with another single to get her team on the scoreboard.
“We’re going to need everyone to hit a little bit better than today,” Eastern coach Scott Redman said. “I was happy to see [Grace] poke one through, breakup the shutout. We saw a little life in the last inning, but obviously too little too late.”
Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org