TORRINGTON >> Torrington’s softball team, rising to No. 2 in this week’s GameTimeCT poll, celebrated its rank with a perfect-game 12-0 rout against Derby Monday afternoon at Torrington High School.
With perfection, University of North Carolina-bound senior pitcher Sydney Matzko registered her second no-hitter in a row.
“I wish her well in college, but I won’t miss her,” joked Derby coach Joe DiMartino. “She’s a very good pitcher — tough to face.”
Matzko struck out 17 batters, but Derby’s Red Raiders weren’t alone with the pressure.
“(No-hitters and perfect games) feel nice because, at the end of the game, it’s down and dirty,” said Matzko. “You have to focus on every pitch because one mistake could ruin it.”
Monday, mistakes belonged to Derby (1-5). The downstate Raiders made a few great plays in the field; they swung their bats against Matzko.
“Our kids were aggressive at the plate today,” said DiMartino.
Still, nobody’s more aggressive than Torrington base-runners.
Derby fielders committed 11 errors. Torrington runners pounced on them for seven unearned runs.
They began in the bottom of the first when Brittany Anderson turned a dropped ball in the outfield into a run with the help of a bad relay throw home.
Before that, Torrington flashed its own improved defense over last year.
Derby’s Rachel Rizzo lay down a good bunt. Torrington freshman third baseman Alexis Tyrell hopped on it with a perfect strike to first.
“Sydney’s one of the best pitchers in the state. As long as we play defense, we’ll be okay,” said Torrington coach Maryann Musselman after hearing of her team’s No. 2 state ranking.
Derby batters put the ball in play three more times after the first inning.
Following Matzko’s third strikeout, in the top of the second, Tyrell made a nice catch on Gabby Greenhill’s pop foul.
Shyanne Garofalo followed with a hot grounder down the first base line. Torrington’s Sara Heath took it to the bag unassisted.
Matzko allowed her fielders just one more chance — a fly to center fielder Anderson by Anna Cheverella in the sixth.
In between, she struck out 10 Derby Red Raiders in a row, then four more for perfection.
Meantime, Raider runners took full advantage of imperfection.
Still up just 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning, Brittany Young (2-for-3) led off with a single. A dropped fly from Nikki Jamieson and an overthrow on a bunt by Anderson scored two runs. A triple by Marissa Morris and RBI single by Matzko (2-for-4, 2 RBI) made it 4-0 after three.
Alexa Potter, led off with a double in the fourth and scored on an outfield error. Hits by Tyrell (3-for-4, triple) and Young and an infield error for Jamieson loaded the bases.Anderson got one run in with a sacrifice fly in foul territory; Matzko got another with a single, 7-0.
Three more hits, four more errors finished Torrington’s scoring in the fifth. Heath led off with a single to left center field, then scrambled to second when it got past the fielder. Two batters later, a Tyrell single and another outfield error sent her home.
Young reached on an infield error. Tyrell raced home.
With runners on first and second, Anderson put up the biggest hit of the day. Her rising line drive skimmed the top of the center fielder’s glove. Young, Jamieson and Anderson were in with a three-run homer.
Torrington visits Kennedy Wednesday.
Then Watertown comes to town for the Raiders’ biggest test since their 6-1 win over Seymour a week-and-a-half ago.
The Indians are 5-2. Losses came from defending Class L state champion Masuk (11-0) and a nine-inning marathon against Seymour (4-3).
Torrington 12, Derby 0
At Torrington High School
Derby 000 000 0—0 0 11
Torrington 103 350 x—12 11 0
WP: Sydney Matzko. LP: T—Rachel Rizzo. HR: Brittany Anderson. 3B: T—Marissa Morris; Alexis Tyrell. 2B: T—Alexa Potter.
Records: Derby 1-5; Torrington 6-0.