Softball: Eastern splits with Middletown

By MICHAEL LETENDRE

STAFF WRITER

MIDDLETOWN – The Bristol Eastern softball team had a tricky doubleheader against Middletown on Monday, May 6.

Due to all the recent rain, the Lancers had to make up a game – in Middletown – though the Lancers were the home team for one of the two showdowns.

Eastern had to withstand all of the elements, which included a pre-game injury and a late player arrival as game one fell off the rails nearly from the start.

The Blue Dragons scored two runs in the first – as did the Lancers – to make it a 2-2 game through one frame of play.

From that point, Eastern was out-scored 11-2 as Middletown ramped up a 13-4 edge through five-and-a-half innings.

The Lancers put a five-spot on the board in the sixth and added two more in the seventh but still fell by three in the end, 14-11.

Six errors led to doom and demise for the Lancers while the squad was out-hit, 16-14.

Alison Tellier (1-1) earned her first loss of the season for Eastern.

Dominique Highsmith had two doubles while Niya Earl earned the win on the hill for Middletown.

And in the second game, Erin Girard took the mound; and Eastern made an 8-4 come-from-behind win to split the day.

Highsmith drew the loss for the Blue Dragons.

The Lancers trailed 3-2 through four innings before Eastern dropped in four runs over the top of the fifth – giving the program control of the game at 6-3.

The visitors scored two insurance runs in the seventh frame to turn a two-run game into an 8-4 cushion, the final score of the game.

Six players had extra-base hits in the game for Eastern as the program tallied 20 hits over the two-game chase.

Tellier went 5-of-8 overall while Taylor Keegan was 4-for-8 to lead the Eastern offense over the two-pack of games.

The Kingstreeters also generated offense from Alyssa Hackling (double), Paige McLaughlin, Girard and Jasmine Perez (triple).

And Eastern’s Janessa Gonzalez collected her first career hit as well.

Then against Maloney on Wednesday, May 8, the squad was tied with Eastern 8-8 before the Spartans scored a go-ahead run in the top of the seventh.

Maloney’s Taylor Trowbridge walked to start the rally and was bunted over to second base to get into scoring position.

From there, Haley Kennedy smacked out an RBI single to plate Trowbridge and Maloney had a 9-8 lead with Eastern down to its final three outs.

However, the Lancers responded in kind.

Riley Giblin started the bottom of the seventh with a double and quickly, the go-ahead run was standing at home plate.

Tellier singled onboard to put two on and Lauren Aparo scored Giblin via an RBI single to send the game into a 9-9 stalemate.

And then to end the contest, Grace D’Amato – a name you’ll be hearing a lot about over the next few years at Bristol Eastern – drilled her first game-winning hit as her RBI single sealed the deal, leading the Lancers to a 10-9 win, getting the program to the pay window.

And then the next day, in a big showdown against Newington from Bristol, the Lancers had to battle all the elements once again.

Girard threw the first inning for the Lancers but came out of the game due to fatigue.

That meant, Tellier, the freshman sensation, was back on the hill for Eastern and picked up the game in which the Lancers trailed 1-0.

The Indians zipped up the first inning run off a wild pitch but Tellier did not yield any runs, throwing a three-hitter over six innings that included five strikeouts.

Eastern took control of the contest with a three-run second and a two-run fourth to snare a 5-1 push after four completed innings.

With the new fence surrounding the outfield, Aparo took a ball out of the park for a home run while Giblin went 2-for-4 in the game.

And then D’Amato (there’s that name again) had another stellar outing by going 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored, and two RBI.

To end the week, on Saturday, May 11, the Lancers’ squad fell to Berlin 13 innings, 4-3.

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