WEST HAVEN - The Class LL softball championship game between Southington and Trumbull featured a roller coaster of emotions. The game was back and forth throughout but in the end, it was the Eagles that scored the final run and took home the title 4-3 Saturday night.
The fact that Southington was even in the game at the end was a minor miracle as the team committed five errors and left nine runners on base.
“The emotions were very up and down,” Southington head coach Davina Hernandez said. “But something I have always said since I became head coach here is that defense wins championships and unfortunately we made five errors today.
“You would have expected it to be a bigger deficit but I think that says a lot about our team and the fight that we have offensively. They were better than us today though. Their shortstop was phenomenal and they deserved it.”
Although the Blue Knights did commit five errors, all four of the runs starting pitcher Kara Zazzaro allowed were earned. The defense certainly made her work more than she should have had to, but in the end, Trumbull just picked up that one big hit.
That hit came in the top of the seventh inning with the score tied 3-3.
The inning stared with Trumbull’s Alexa Adinolfi drawing a walk despite being down in the count 0-2. Adinolfi then went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lea Thompson. One batter later, it was starting pitcher Alexandra Szabo who hit a bullet into right field to bring home Adinolfi with what would prove to be the game-winning run.
Southington actually entered the sixth inning down 3-1 but put together a big rally to tie the game.
It started with an Abby Lamson single and a Maighread Scafariello walk. After Szabo recorded two consecutive outs, Zazzaro hit a single off the third baseman’s glove to load the bases.
That brought up ninth-place hitter Katie Semmel and she came through in a big way. The senior knocked a single into center field to bring home two runs, tie the game up and seemingly give the Blue Knights the momentum.
“I had pinch hit for her in her previous at-bat but I just had a feeling that she was going to get up there and come through,” Hernandez said of Semmel, one of the team’s captains. “She was scoring runs for us a few years ago when we won this championship and she works so hard so I was happy for her to have that moment.”
Both pitchers in the game were solid as there were only 13 hits total for both sides combined but at the end of the day, it was Szabo who made the pitches she had to in the bottom of the seventh.
Southington’s first two batters popped out in its last licks but Lamson hit a two-out single and the Eagles then decided to pitch around Scafariello. The senior catcher hit a towering home run in her first at-bat and after that, Trumbull decided not to pitch to her for the rest of the game, walking her in her final three plate appearances.
It came down to Frankie Ferrante as the Blue Knights’ last hope but Szabo struck her out for her sixth punch out of the game.
For her efforts, Szabo was named the tournament MVP, but worth a mention is Trumbull shortstop Taylor Brown. Not only did the senior play stellar defense but she was also a thorn in Zazzaro’s side all game.
Brown reached base in all four plate appearances and had two extra-base hits. A double to start off the game and a solo home run that gave the Eagles a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth.
Southington closes out the season with a 22-3 record and as the runner up in Class LL.
“I told the girls they have a lot to be proud of,” Herandez said. “It’s always tough and sad when the season comes to an end especially when you lose like that but they had a great season. Trumbull was the better team tonight and they deserved to win.”