MIDDLETOWN >> Look up mismatch in your favorite dictionary and this game will be there.
Middletown High’s softball team, ranked No. 10 in the New Haven Register/GameTimeCT poll, dispatched Avon 24-0 in a game played at Henry Hiller Field Wednesday afternoon that was mercifully called in the fifth inning.
Middletown, which sent 27 batters to the plate in a 21-run second inning, improved to 6-0.
Coach Sal Morello used the game to pitch his No. 2 starter, Dominique Highsmith and get a couple of innings for his freshman ace, Niya Earl. He liked what he saw.
“I was happy with how Dominique pitched,” he said. “She threw hard and located her pitches well. We will need her next week.”
That’s because his ace pitcher, Sam Pizzonia, will be going with the school’s celebrated DECA winners to the national competition and Highsmith will pitch in her absence.
In three innings, Highsmith allowed one hit and struck out seven. Earl pitched two innings and struck out all six batters she faced.
“We have a senior-dominated team in that we have seven seniors and six of them start,” said Morello. “But we have eight freshmen and I got five of them in the game today. Our jayvee team, which has eight freshman, is not only 3-0, but had won every game by the Mercy Rule.
“We have 23 kids in the program and all of them love to play softball. You have to like that.”
Middletown had 16 hits in the first two innings.
Pizzonia slammed a solo home run to give MHS a 1-0 first inning lead, then it was bombs away in the second as the Blue Dragons scored 21 times.
Alex Giardina had two hits and four runs batted in, Pizzonia had two hits and two RBIs, Kelsey White had two hits and an RBI, Rachel Thompson had two hits and three RBIs and Briana DiMartino had two hits and four RBIs.
“Our strength is that we swing the bats,” said Morello. “We are aggressive, but we have good discipline at the plate and the kids know the strike zone.”
One of the benefits of this lopsided game was that it allowed Morello to play his bench.
“That’s very important,” said Morello. “Today I got five freshmen into their first varsity game and they all hit the ball. It was really good to see what Earl could do and I was impressed.”
Sophie Agulara was the starting and losing pitcher for Avon. Breanne Braun had Avon’s only hit. The Falcons were washed out of their early season and the game with Middletown was their first of the year.
“Our field was under water and we’ve been indoors most of the time,” said Avon coach Bruce Michaels.
Middletown plays E.O. Smith in Storrs Friday afternoon.