BRISTOL -The Bristol Gators proved why they are the top seed in the Bristol Softball City Series.
During the second game of the tournament, the Gators (12-4) handily beat Bristol Freedom (6-8), 25-15, which ended in a mercy ruling Wednesday evening.
The Freedom entered the game on a high note, beating the Black Panthers, whom they’ve never beaten before, in the City Series opener the day before. Against the Gators, the Freedom were able to strike first, putting up five runs in the first inning to take an early lead.
Freedom left fielder Sierra Messier started the rally with a hit and finished the game 3-for-4, with a pair of singles, a double and three RBI.
Gators coach Adam Whitlock could sense his team needing a boost, so he called them in for a team meeting after falling behind.
“Wiggle it out, get comfortable,” Whitlock said. “This game doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t. You guys are going to be out here for six innings. Win or lose, you have to enjoy being out there.”
The Gators went on to put up 14 runs in the bottom of the first, cycling through the batting order three times. Whitlock said the main reason the team was able to hold itself together after a rough start was Sarah Lacouture.
“I’ve never once awarded a captain in any sport,” Whitlock said. “I’ve coached Little League, umpired Little League and coached basketball. This kid makes other kids better. It was just so obvious we needed to identify the one child who leads them all and she does it on her own.”
During Wednesday’s game, Lacouture was 4-for-5 at the plate and collected two RBI. Teammate Makayla Antunes went 5-for-5 and scored five runs. Gators left fielder Leah Webber collected two RBI and a triple, the latter of which brought in the team’s center fielder Leah Sklenka.
An elimination game between the Freedom and the Black Panthers will be Friday at 6 p.m.