By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – The Bristol Eastern softball team used the long ball to capture a quick edge against Plainville in a CCC South tilt on a rain soaked Wednesday, April 22.
And once the lead was acquired, the Lancers used a little small ball to fatten the cushion.
In the end, Eastern downed a game Blue Devils squad by a 12-3 final from the softball field on the campus of Bristol Eastern.
The win moved the Lancers to 4-2 overall – 3-0 in CCC South play – while Plainville dropped to 1-5 on the campaign, the squad’s fifth straight loss of the year.
The top three in Eastern’s batting order – consisting of MaKenzie Jankowski, Charline Plasczynski, and star chucker Jenifer Tabacco – tallied a combined five extra-base hits and those tallies gave the home team a significant edge in the game.
Jankowski (2-for-4, two doubles, 3 runs, 2 RBI) and Plasczynski (2-of-2, 2 runs, RBI) and Tabacco (2-for-3, 2 runs, 4 RBI) led the hit parade over the first frame and off a two-RBI double by Tabacco, the Lancers led 2-0 right off the bat.
Plainville chucker Kiya Broughton struck out two of her six total batters in the first frame but thanks to two Plainville errors, the youngster was forced to extend her time on the mound – a problem the Blue Devils have encountered several times already this season – and that’s when Eastern made the visitors pay.
With the bases juiced and a 2-0 edge in hand, Bailey Wyrebek (1-for-2, 2 walks, 2 RBI) smacked a two-base hit up the middle to score Anna Kelley and Nicole D’Amato as the Lancers zipped up a 4-0 edge after just one inning of play.
On the mound, Tabacco slowed down Plainville and didn’t allow a run until the sixth stanza of action.
By then, it was too late for the visitors to make a comeback in the game.
Plainville’s Rachel Lancaster was sensational as she went 2-of-4 at the plate and sent every ball she hit into the outfield against one of the best throwers in all the CCC South.
She ramped up a single, double and two sacrifice fly’s for two RBI and certainly tried to spark the Blue Devils’ offense.
But Plainville as a squad had just five hits overall as Tabacco posted eight strikeouts and allowed just the one extra-base hit to Lancaster.
Outside of Lancaster and Katie Geddes (2-for-3), no other Plainville batter generated a hit over the first three innings of play while the Lancers went to work in the third for four additional runs.
With ducks in the pond, Jankowski sent a double to left as her two RBIs saw Eastern scoop up a 6-0 push.
From there, Plasczynski tripled to deep centerfield to score Jankowski; and quickly, Tabacco flipped out an infield hit to plate Plasczynski and suddenly, Plainville faced an 8-0 deficit after three completed frames.
And in the top of the fourth, D’Amato displayed a little of her stellar defense that complements her all-around outstanding game.
Lancaster singled to left to get onboard; but with one out, the defensive play of the game was about to unfold.
Plainville’s Gina D’Amico roped a shot to third that D’Amato snared out of the air for the second out of the inning.
Quickly, she chucked the ball over the first to get Lancaster and off the double-play ball, Bristol Eastern coach Scott Redman acknowledged it was a big inning-ending play and Eastern’s 8-0 cushion was still intact.
In the sixth, Plainville shook the cobwebs off offensively and got on the board with a little small ball.
Off two consecutive errors, a wild pitch scored Geddes and it was an 8-1 game with Plainville looking to dent the score a bit more.
Kaylee Roux singled to get onboard; Lancaster then sent a shot to the outfield for an out; but Madison Richardson scored from third and the deficit was chopped to 8-2.
But in the bottom of the sixth, Eastern added four additional runs – highlighted from RBI doubles by Nicole D’Amato and Jordan Fitzsimons – as Eastern nabbed a 12-2 push with just one frame remaining.
Plainville simply refused to go quietly, generated base hits from Shyanne Bradley and Katie Geddes – coupled by Roux getting hit by a pitch – to load things up once again.
Lancaster again slammed a sacrifice fly into left as the Blue Devils added one final run to cut it to 12-3.
However, Plainville could not inch any closer and fell by a nine run push to the Lancers in Bristol.
Comments? Email mletendre@BristolObserver.com.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE