HAMDEN — In the midst of a stretch that includes nine consecutive road contests, West Haven softball coach Frank Biondi knows his team is heading in the right direction. Game six of the road trip confirmed that.
Behind three hits apiece from Sierra Santana, Kial Watts, Amber Bonewicz and Jolie Morrell, West Haven used an 18-hit attack to defeat Hamden 11-3 at Hamden High Wednesday afternoon. With the win, West Haven improved to 4-2 on the trip and 4-3 overall.
“I am happy with the way we are playing,” Biondi said. “We are in a good position. We are a work-in-progress. We are swinging the bats very well.
“We made three errors today. That is not going to work in the close games. Our pitching has been solid. Julia (Bothwell) struck out eight today. She did a pretty good job.”
West Haven received contributions throughout the lineup, with eight of the nine starters recording a hit and six having a multi-hit game. Watts and Bonewicz each drove in three runs, with Bonewicz scoring three times.
“These wins are big for us,” Watts said. “It is nice to play on the road now and win. It will be nice to play at home, especially for the seniors to be back at home for the last stretch.”
West Haven took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Santana led off with a double and scored on Watts’ single.
“It is important to get into the box with more of an offensive mentality,” Watts said after finishing with two doubles and a single. “There was energy throughout the team today. There was a better approach.”
Hamden (4-4) evened the game in the bottom of the inning off West Haven starter Julia Bothwell as Jocelyn Rivera singled with two outs and moved into scoring position on an error. Angelica Colon tied things up when she singled to score Rivera.
Any thoughts Hamden had of picking up its fifth victory ended when the Westies scored eight times in the third for a 9-1 lead.
Marisa Pacapelli started the rally with a walk, Watts doubled to score Pacapelli for a 2-1 lead and Morrell and Madison Watts singled to load the bases. A double by Bonewicz scored a pair for a 4-1 lead, and Kristen Domek’s grounder to second scored another to make it 5-1.
“Kial Watts had an unbelievable day,” Biondi said. “She hit the ball hard all day long. Jolie Morrell had a nice day. Kristen Domek had two hits and Alissa Tonucci and Alex Severino had hits. The lower part of the lineup was on base. If they can get on base, we will be very good with our top four or five hitters.”
Alissa Tonucci’s single made it 6-1 before a triple by Santana scored Tonucci and Alexis Severino, who had singled, for an 8-1 lead. Watts followed with her second double of the inning to score Santana for a 9-1 advantage.
“Hitting is our forte so far,” Morrell said. “Everyone in our lineup is hitting. There are no automatic outs. It is very important that everyone hits. We have made some errors in the field, but we have gotten big hits from everyone.”
Hamden got one back in the bottom of the third when Dina Alissi and Rivera singled and Colon added another hit to score Alissi.
With the bases loaded in the fourth, after singles by Bonewicz and Domek, Santana singled to score Bonewicz.
Bonewicz added to the West Haven offense when she hit a home run to left in the fifth.
A double by Hailey Trasacco led to a run in the bottom of the seventh for the Green Dragons.
Bothwell went the distance, allowing nine hits and two earned runs, while striking out eight and walking two.
“I thought she pitched well,” Biondi said.