By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – Erin Girard, the star pitcher from the Bristol Eastern softball squad, is always going remember her amazing effort against Avon on Monday, April 24.
And that’s because she completely obliterated the Falcons in a perfect game – 15 batters up, 15 batters down, all via strikeout – as Girard and the Lancers shutout Avon 17-0 from the softball field on King Street in Bristol.
And put frankly, the Falcons didn’t have a chance in the Central Connecticut Conference Interdivisional tilt.
The Lancers overwhelmed Avon as the Eastern defense was probably bored in the infield, outfield, and maybe even the bench as Girard was on top of her game, never letting up, and moving to 6-1 on the season.
But that boredom didn’t creep into the home squad’s at-bats because the Lancers used 19 hits on the day to tally up those 17 runs.
The combination of Jillian Maghini, Alyssa Hackling, and Paige McLaughlin went a combined 10-of-12 and, more specifically, the Hackling/McLaughlin duo went a slick 5-of-5 overall to boost the squad.
Hacking was a slick 3-of-3 with a walk, scoring all four times, nabbing two doubles and collecting two RBI while McLaughlin also connected on two extra-base hits.
McLaughlin was 2-for-2 with a double and a triple, four RBI, while drawing two base on balls to lead the Lancers.
Girard helped her own cause with three hits in four tries to go along with four RBI while the clever Jordan Fitzsimons went 3-of-5 with two triples, two runs scored and an RBI.
Maghini scooped up a 2-of-3 performance at the plate with four runs scored while Mikayla Martin had a hit and an RBI.
Taylor Keegan added a hit, notched a run, zipped up an RBI and a stolen base.
Reserve Maura McGuire was 1-for-1 with an RBI while Makenzie Jankowski tallied up a triple, scored a run, collected an RBI and walked.
Lauren Aparo was 1-of-2 with a walk and an RBI while substitute Ali Rivoira was a clean 1-for-1 with a run scored.
The first frame was the Lancers’ highest scoring stanza as the home team pushed across five runs on the scoreboard as Eastern went in front 5-0 after one.
And thanks to the unworldly pitching of Girard, that first inning cushion would easily stick.
The Lancers padded its lead with four runs over the second through fourth innings to seize a 17-0 edge and by the time Girard fishing striking out the side – for the fifth consecutive inning – the game was called due to the mercy rule as Eastern was a huge winner on the day, moving to 6-1 on the campaign.
Then on Friday, April 28, the Lancers ran into a buzz saw in the form of Middletown and the locals dropped a tough 10-2 decision in Bristol, falling to 6-2 on the year.
Rivoira took the mound for Eastern and did more than a credible job, giving her squad a chance but the big hit never came in support.
She went the distance, allowing 10 runs overall – six earned – while striking out three and allowing three free passes.
Rivoira allowed just two earned runs over the first six innings of play but the Lancers managed to leave 11 runners on base – including seven in scoring position.
And by the time Eastern finally got on the scoreboard, the team was already in a 6-0 hole.
Offensively, Keegan led the way with a 3-of-4 performance, including a run, while Jankowski also generated a hit.
Fitzsimons and Martin also produced from the plate, each going 2-of-4 with an RBI.
Defensively at catcher, McLaughlin went a perfect 1-for-1 throwing runners out attempting to advance a base.