MILFORD — Mercy coach Jennifer Piazza Laffin has been waiting for that one outing which can get her team going. That outing may have come Wednesday afternoon in Milford.
Scoring three times in the second inning, riding the pitching of Alexa Boone, and making the necessary plays in the field, Mercy hung on for a 3-2 Southern Connecticut Conference interdivision victory over host Jonathan Law.
Boone scattered seven hits and struck out four as Mercy improved to 2-3 on the year with its second win in three games.
“This is a huge win for our confidence,” Laffin said. “Law is a good team. Their pitcher kept us off-balanced. But, we got the three runs in the one inning and that was enough.”
— Mike Madera (@MikeMadera2) April 11, 2019
Law’s Brianna Buccitti also pitched well, allowing six hits and striking out eight, but it was a sloppy second inning which hurt Law.
Jamison Stenger and Boone opened the inning with singles, before another infield single by Kelly Smith loaded the bases with no outs for Mercy. Sophia Nankee walked to force in the first run, before a wild pitch scored another run for a 2-0 advantage. Paige Frederick then singled to score Smith, but Nankee was thrown out at home for the second out.
The three runs would hold up as Law never seemed to get on track against Boone. The lefty had her pitches sail inside, forcing weak contact by Law.
Law stranded runners on the corners in the first inning and another on third in the fifth, before finalizing capitalizing in the sixth.
“This is a disappointing loss,” Law coach Melanie Blude said. “I thought we came out flat. We played okay. I am not upset with the offense. We just left runners on.”
Law got within 3-1 in the sixth as Maddie Lula and Emily Morey singled with two outs to put runners on the corners, before Buccitti singled to score Lula. That was all in the inning as Boone escaped without any further damage.
“I thought Alexa (Boone) did a great job,” Laffin said. “She got them to hit little balls, and they were off-balance. The kids made the plays. This is the best defensive game we have played.”
Mercy had to hang on for one more inning as Law rallied in the seventh. Courtney Hanson led off with a walk, before Boone got Cali Jolley on strikes on a full count. Grace Kantor singled to plate one run after a stolen base, but Boone got a pair of pop outs to end the game.
“It was the little things,” Blude said. “Their pitcher did a great job. It was tough to see the ball from a lefty. Everything was off the handle. We made some mistakes in one inning and they capitalized.”
Buccitti settled down after the second inning as Mercy had only two hits and four runners the rest of the way.
“Our schedule is filled with games which can go either way,” Blude said. “If you show up and expect teams to hand it to you, you will lose. We have to work hard to get the win.”
Stenger and Boone led Mercy with two hits apiece. Liz Hayden had two hits for Law.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Alexa Boone — Mercy pitcher allowed seven hits and struck out four, while also picking up two hits on offense.
“She did a really nice job. She came in refocused. She had a tough game the last game. Today was a really nice day for her.”
— Mercy coach Jennifer Piazza Laffin on Alexa Boone
MERCY 3, JONATHAN LAW 2
MERCY 030 000 0 — 3 6 0
LAW 000 001 1 — 2 7 1
Batteries: Mercy–Alexa Boone and K. Smith; Jonathan Law–Brianna Buccitti and Gina Boccamazzo