SEYMOUR >> Caitlyn O’Hara would love to have declared herself the bunter to top all the other bunters but the Seymour center fielder knew she could not make that declaration and keep a straight face not with how she had fared in some of her attempts to get a bunt down in recent games.
However, with the NVL softball title on the line, O’Hara stepped to the plate and delivered the most important bunt of her high school career.
Seymour, ranked sixth in the GameTimeCT/New Haven Register top 10 poll, scored both of its runs on squeeze plays to win the NVL tournament with a 2-1 win over third-ranked Holy Cross on Wednesday night.
Molly Adamo started with winning rally with a deep shot to center field that hit the top of the fence and narrowly missed being the walk-off home run. Still, the double was the Wildcats’ only extra-base hit of the game.
With no outs and the No. 8 and 9 hitters coming up, the Wildcats played small ball as Gina Ferrara and O’Hara, both seniors, got the bunts down as the Wildcats celebrated another league title.
“It was great, it was a walk-off, it was everything we wanted,” O;Hara said. “We felt like Molly’s hit was going to go over and when it didn’t, we knew we had to get it down.”
Seymour coach Ken Pereiras said that in a recent game O’Hara was unable to get a bunt down and she was not the only one so in the next couple of practices, a little extra time was spent working on the art of bunting.
O’Hara got one down in the semifinal win over St. Paul and another one in the fifth inning of the title game.
“Recently I’ve been doing really bad never doing it when I needed to but finally the situation came and I got it down,” O’Hara said.
Sophomore pitcher Jenna Geffert, who allowed just three hits, was named the tournament MVP. The award could have also gone to O’Hara, Adamo, sophomore Sierra Cripps who had two of Seymour’s five hits or freshman catcher Kolby Sirowich who had back to back pivotal defensive plays as Holy Cross had two runners on base and just one out in the fifth inning.
Sirowich made a sweet grab of an attempted bunt by Aubrey DeFoe and on the next pitch picked off Lizzie Diorio at third base to keep the game tied.
Holy Cross (21-2) had seven fly ball outs and many of them of the loud variety but other than a first-inning double by Allie Brown leading to Sarah Lawton’s RBI ground out, the Crusaders couldn’t those balls to fall in.
“We had our chances and we didn’t capitalize on them today,” Holy Cross coach Meg Dwyer said. “we couldn’t get that final run in. That happens, we are going to make some adjustments and look forward to the (Class S) tournament.”
Lawton struck out 10 while catcher Jenna Mowad threw out speedy Becca Johnson trying to steal something that has not been done this season and happened to Johnson only five times in 108 career opportunities coming into the game.
Johnson used her blazing speed to tie the game in the bottom of the first inning with a bunt single, stolen base, wild pitch and bunt by Beca Findley resulting in the game-tying run for Seymour (21-2).
That set the stage for Adamo nearly winning the game with one swing of the bat after striking out in her first two at bats.
“I went up to that at-bat looking for the right pitch for me to hit and I got it,’ Adamo said.
“I am really proud of getting the run across. It wouldn’t have mattered if Caitlin didn’t get that bunt down and we didn’t push that run across.”
SEYMOUR 2, HOLY CROSS 1
Holy Cross 100 000 0 — 1 3 0
Seymour 100 000 1 — 2 5 1
Sarah Lawton and Jenna Mowad; Jenna Geffert and Kolby Sirowich.
WP: Jenna Geffert (15-0). LP: Sarah Lawton (). 2B: (HC) Lawton; (SE) Molly Adamo. RBI: Lawton (HC)
Team records: Holy Cross 21-2; Seymour 21-2.