Softball: Eastern makes it seven straight wins

By MICHAEL LETENDRE

STAFF WRITER

BRISTOL – The Bristol Eastern softball squad started the 2019 campaign with seven straight victories and on Wednesday, April 24, the Lancers blasted Glastonbury 12-3 from King Street in Bristol in a Central Connecticut Conference crossover showdown.

Eastern moved to a perfect 7-0 off the nine-run win.

A seven run fifth inning effectively ended the contest as the Lancers turned a close 3-1 game into a nine-run blowout.

“I was waiting for us to wake up,” said Eastern coach Scott Redman. “We kind of talked about it between every inning. [We needed to] stop letting this team hang around. We got to jump on them. We said it about three innings in a row and they kind of cracked and, yeah, hitting is contagious.”

Eastern freshmen Alison Tellier earned her first ever scholastic win, going the distance on the mound over a very good debut on the hill.

She threw a three-run, seven hitter that included a couple strikeouts and did well out of that fifth inning that saw the Lancers defense take an extended rest.

“For a first time outing against a good team that’s record does not indicate their talent and I thought she pitched pretty well once she got lead,” said Redman of Tellier. “She had a long break, she was a little bit off but she bounced back. She rallied.”

Glastonbury nearly manufactured a run to open play as Sam Petow just raced out an infield hit and was bunted over to first by Emily Bronzi.

Lindsay Curto grounded out to shortstop for the second out and when Sarah McMarrow towered a ball to centerfield for the final putout, Petow was stuck at third base as Eastern came up to bat.

The bottom of the first saw Paige McLaughlin (2-for-5, two RBI) drill a single by the third basemen as her one-out hit put a runner on.

But nothing came of it as the squads were scoreless going into the top of the second frame.

With one gone in the second, Glastonbury’s Olivia DiLauro drove a rocket to right field but Riley Giblin (2-for-3, two doubles, two runs, RBI) made an outstanding diving catch for an out that prevented an extra-base hit – or worse.

“The diving play, it’s either an out or a home run,” said Redman of the Giblin catch. “That was a pretty good play, I’ll give her that. She had the right angle, she had a beat on it right away. You can tell she was going into that dive about ten steps before she did. But hey, it was a hell of a play. Tip your cap there.”

Eastern then came through with two runs in the bottom of the second as Giblin jammed a double down the right field line and advanced to third on a grounder by Alyssa Hackling (2-for-4, two doubles, RBI).

Tellier (single, RBI) then laid down a bunt and Giblin was in a rundown between third base and home plate.

But the clever Giblin eventually got herself back to third safely and Tellier hustled all the way to second on the fielder’s choice.

Lauren Aparo (3-for-3, three runs, three RBI) then hit a pop-fly in front of the mound that the defense did not recover – loading up the bases via the infield hit with just one out.

And then with two gone, Taylor Keegan (single, RBI) sent a ball to the left of second base that was dropped – scoring Giblin and Tellier – for a 2-0 Eastern edge.

In the third, Bronzi slammed a hit to center for a triple and South Windsor had the tying run at the plate.

But one final pop-up ended the inning as the Lancers maintained its 2-0 push.

Giblin was hit by a pitch with two gone in the bottom of the third, advanced on a wild pitch but did not score as the contest remained 2-0.

However, things got interesting in the top of the fourth with two outs.

Glastonbury’s Olivia DiLauro jammed a hot-shot up the middle and the speedster tagged all the bases as Eastern had trouble getting the ball back into the infield – chopping the deficit to 2-1 via the home run ball.

“I thought our defense was really good at times and the wind wreaked a little bit of havoc too,” said Redman. “Some of those hard-hit balls, they just kept going. I don’t think Zoe’s [Lowe in centerfield] used to not being able to run a ball down at the right angle. She always got the right angle so kind of shows that ball shot on her one time. It was well struck.”

Sadie Scurto then sent a double to center as the Tomahawks had another runner in scoring position.

However, one final pop-up ended the frame as a runner was stranded in scoring position with the Lancers still and top, leading by a run at 2-1.

Eastern got the run back in the bottom of the fourth as Aparo walked with one gone and when Lyzah Corliss (2-for-4) dropped in a grounder to the third basemen, a throw was not made to either first or second base as the fielder’s choice set the table for Keegan.

And she slipped a single by the third basemen – plating Aparo – to make it a 3-1 contest.

Glastonbury nearly put together a successful two-out rally in the fifth but was snuffed out by Eastern in the end.

Bronzi reached base via error and when Lindsey Curto raced out an infield hit, runners were on the corners.

But a fly-out by Sarah McMarrow ended the Tomahawks’ fifth frame and the Lancers went to work.

Lowe open the fifth with a single to left and Erin Girard sent her home via a huge triple to center – making it a 4-1 contest.

Giblin and Hackling connected on back-to-back RBI doubles and when Girard and Giblin eventually tagged the plate, Eastern charged in front 6-1.

And Tellier helped her cause with a single to right, plating Hackling, and Aparo followed up with a loud double to the same part of the field and quickly, the Tomahawks deficit reached 8-1.

Glastonbury then brought relief pitcher Elisia Foyle into the game and Corliss greeted her with a Texas leaguer to short-center and two runners were on with still no outs recorded.

McLaughlin then joined the hit parade with a two-RBI single to right field with Eastern’s cushion reaching 10-1.

And when Glastonbury finally got out of the inning, the game reached the sixth with the visitors trailing by nine.

Girard actually moved into the outfield for defensive purposes, then was quickly removed before the inning commenced while pinch-runner Jasmin Perez took a spot in right field.

Grace D’Amato came off the bench, was inserted into left and off a major human game of chess, play eventually resumed.

Giblin, who switched over to center, made another outstanding catch for an out but DiLauro singled to center with one gone.

Again, runs remained elusive for the Tomahawks and Eastern was looking to pad its lead in the bottom of the sixth.

Hackling then hit her second straight double to get into scoring position and moved to third on a wild pitch.

Aparo then put a ball into orbit, deep to right field, as she crossed the plate for a two-run homer, extending the Eastern lead to 12-1.

Corliss later singled and Keegan reached via error but one final out ended Eastern’s ups and Tellier was ready to close the contest out with a 12-1 lead in hand.

The Tomahawks scored a couple runs off an RBI triple by Bronzi and a groundout from Curto that made it 12-3.

“I thought Ali was around the plate,” said Redman. “She kind of moved the ball pretty well. And once we got the lead, she kind of calmed down a little bit, took a deep breath. Glastonbury got a run or two at the end there [but] it was a good performance.”

But in the end, one final ground-out to Tellier on the mound closed out the game as the program from Bristol moved to 7-0 on the year.

“As I told the girls, we’re going to continue to strive for perfection and accept when we’re not,” said Redman. “I’m still not exactly ecstatic about how we played [today]. But you persevere when you don’t have your ‘A’ game and yet, we win number seven.”

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Michael Letendre, email him at MLetendre@BristolObserver.com.