NEW BRITAIN - After a disappointing start to their final day of the Nutmeg Games 12U softball tournament, the Lightning 05’s (Southington) made sure to end it on a strong note and with a medal in hand.
Led by six unanswered runs in the bottom of the third, the Lightning 05’s beat the CT Bombers Teal 11-3 in their second game of the day to take the bronze medal at Chesley Park Sunday afternoon.
“We were a little disappointed in the first game [against the CT Bombers Black],” Lightning 05’s head coach Bill Zeust said. “[The second game] was close at the beginning, but we kept working and we pulled away.”
Up 5-3 at the start of the bottom of the third, Rylee Dlugos drove in Hailey Zaczynski on an RBI single to right field and the rout was on.
After a walk and bunt single loaded the bases, an error by the Bombers shortstop allowed Dlugos and Emma Quint to score. Elyse Picard’s RBI single brought home Emily Moskal, while Nicole Szuba reached first on another error by the shortstop allowed the Lightning 05’s to score their fifth run of the inning.
Sam Rogers then capped off the third with an RBI triple, scoring Szuba.
In total, Southington collected 17 base hits to go along with its 11 runs with six different batters finishing the afternoon with multiple hits and seven different players score one run or more.
Quint, the leadoff hitter, was 3-for-3 with two runs scored; Moskal was 3-for-3 with one RBI and three runs scored; Picard was 2-for-3 with one RBI, a double and one run scored; Szuba was 3-for-3 with one RBI, a triple and one run scored; and Dlugos was 2-for-2 with one RBI two runs scored.
Despite the end score, the Bombers were the first ones on the scoreboard and after the top of the first inning, they had a steady 2-0 lead.
The Lighting 05s were able to get on the board in the bottom of the frame as Szuba hit an RBI triple to drive home Moskal. The team added four more runs in the second.
“We have kind of had a battle with this team and then we started to get our bats going,” Szuba said. “We started blocking balls in front of us so they didn’t roll past us.”
Szuba was referring to the Lighting 05’s first game in which the wind the knocking over the fence and allowed the balls to keep on rolling into the other field, making nearly every hit from the other team an inside the park home run.
But once Southington figured out how to get that under control in the bronze medal game, it was able to come out on top.
“I think we did a pretty good job,” Naomi Oliver said. “We had a rough start. We let them have two runs, but after that, we were on a roll.”
Southington has one more tournament before it wraps up its season. The tournament will take place in Rhode Island and the Lightning 05’s is looking to contend after placing second last year.
“We want to win,” Oliver said. “I definitely think we can definitely do it.”
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or email@example.com