BRISTOL - With two outs in the top of the first inning, Blast starting pitcher Alex Sciarretto took a scary line drive off of her kneecap that stopped play and silenced the crowd.
With the coaches out to the mound to evaluate the injury, it was no sure thing Sciarretto would keep pitching.
Sciarretto stayed in the game, though, and did so in dominant fashion by striking out the next six Nitro hitters she faced and finished with 13 strikeouts in the game to beat the Nitro 4-1 and capture the City Series championship for the Blast.
“I’m just amazed because I’ve never won this before,” Sciarretto said. “I feel so grateful that I got to experience this for the first time.”
Sciarretto pitched the entire game for the Blast. Her opposing pitcher was once again Ashley Serafin. The two faced each other in an extra inning thriller Wednesday.
While Serafin was on the losing end of things again, she had a performance to be proud of. Serafin also pitched a complete game and drove in the only run off of Sciarretto with a shot to left center field that almost left the park.
Following her RBI the Nitro were down 3-1. With Serafin in scoring position, the opportunity to strike against Sciarretto was there with two outs.
Unfortunately for the Nitro, the umpire did not hear manager Barrett Cretella call for timeout as the wrong batter stepped up to the plate resulting in the final out of the inning for hitting out of order. The call was pivotal with just six outs left to score on Sciarretto.
The Blast as a team were excellent, and the victory was by no means a product of one player.
In the bottom of the first inning, Taylor Lorenzetti started off the scoring with a two-run double.
Sam Sklanka chipped in an RBI single to extend the lead to three runs.
With the score now 3-1 following the Serafin RBI in the top of the fourth, Lorelei Stancavage concluded her strong City Series performance with an RBI triple to right field.
Stancavage was thrown out at home trying to extend the triple into an inside the park home run.
With that run driven in by Stancavage, the three runs needed in order to come back and tie the game was a daunting task for the Nitro hitters with Sciarretto still going strong.
In the final inning, Sciarretto had two strikeouts and ended the game fittingly with a third.
For the Nitro, Alex Shorette finished off her strong City Series with the hot shot single in the first and a walk in the top of the sixth.
Serafin’s double was her only hit in the game but she had six strikeouts in the game pitching and was the anchor of the Nitro team during the City Series throwing three complete games for her team on the mound.
“I gave Ashley a hug and I said you’ve got another year and come back with some vengeance,” Blast manager Tom Policki said. “She could have a heck of a season next year.”
Both teams showed great fight in the two games played against each other but ultimately it was the pitching by Sciarretto in the final game that paved the way to the Blast hoisting the City Series trophy.
“They were really aggressive and they wanted this just as bad as I did,” Sciarretto said. “I wish there could be two winners. I feel that they deserved it just as much as we did.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or email@example.com
On Twitter: @OrencoleDan