PLAINVILLE - It turned out a groundout as all the Innovation softball team needed Tuesday afternoon.
Lucielle Rodriguez hit weak grounder to shortstop allowing Kaylee Dobransky to score as the Ravens beat Plainville 7-6 in extra innings in a game that saw four lead changes throughout the afternoon.
“The past three losses that we had have been by like one or two runs,” Innovation assistant coach Margaret Fallon said. “We haven’t been able to finish. We’ve always let them [the opponent] finish the game. But today we actually finished. We let them come back, but we still finished the game the way we wanted to.”
Isabella Orejuela had a solid game from the pitching circle for the Ravens, throwing a complete game. Of the six Blue Devils runs, just three of those were earned. She also collected eight strikeouts. But a struggling defense behind her forced her to work hard for every out.
“If I’m hitting my spots and the fielders aren’t fielding it correctly, it’s irritating because we should be working as a team,” Orejuela said. “But once we settled down and started working together, we started to make those plays we were missing early on.”
The Ravens offense, however, was solid from start to finish, scoring in every inning except for the fourth and sixth. While the Ravens saw production up and down the lineup, third baseman Jierydaliz Garcia made her mark especially, getting on base in three of her five plate appearances, scoring three of Innovation’s runs. She finished her day 2-for-4 with a walk.
Annie Roux was one of the few bright spots of the Blue Devils’ order. Plainville’s center fielder collected three hits, drove in three runs and also scored the tying run in the seventh to push the game to extras. Roux was also solid defensively, making a few big plays defensively to put Innovation rallies at a halt.
“I struggle with the slower pitchers and better with faster pitchers because I can get the ball to the bat easier,” Roux said. “But this pitcher [Orejuela] was like right in the middle and it was perfect. It was just easier for me to see the ball better.”
Kayla Wisz was another strong performer for Plainville.
From the mound, she gave up three earned runs, while also striking out eight. Wisz also helped herself out from the batter’s box, collecting three hits and scoring two runs.
Blue Devils head coach Scott Marcucio said that while he’s happy the young team made some improvements, they hurt themselves the most with several mistakes in the game.
“We try to express how every play is important,” Marcucio said. “Even if we make a good play, we have to make a good throw after that. We just didn’t do that today.”
The win for Innovation puts them at 5-3 to start the year, while Plainville drops to 2-5 and are now on a three-game losing streak.
The Ravens hope to keep the momentum going with a quick turnaround game against Farmington on Thursday. Plainville has an even shorter time to forget its loss. The Blue Devils play again on today when they host Avon.
“We just have to learn how to consistently play better offensively and defensively,” Marcucio said. “We made a big step today as a softball team but we’re not there yet. We’ll get there though.”
Tyler Roaix can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org