WEST HAVEN >> Same field. Same opponent. Different end result.
The last time Amity pitcher Katie Koshes faced Southington on Biondi Field, the Blue Knights homered in the bottom of the 15th inning to capture the Class LL championship in 2014.
This time, Koshes, a hard-throwing lefty, was nearly perfect in guiding the sixth-seeded Spartans to a 4-1 victory over No. 2 Southington in the Class LL semifinals Monday.
Koshes, who allowed just two hits, hit a batter and struck out 12, helped put an end to Southington’s bid at a fourth straight title.
“It was definitely a mental thing knowing we lost to them before in such a big game,” said Koshes, a senior. “It made us all want it that much more.”
Amity (22-5) will face No. 1 Cheshire (26-0) for the title this weekend at a site and time to be announced. The SCC rivals will meet for a fourth time this season.
Amity senior catcher Teresa Marchitto drew a two-out walk in the first inning. Courtesy runner Rachael Crow came around to score on Morgan Perry’s RBI double to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
“It was great,” Perry said. “I was really excited. I knew when (Marchitto) got on first base that I had to step up at the plate and help out.”
During Marchitto’s at-bat, she hit a foul fly ball that Southington failed to make a play on, much to the dismay of Southington coach Davina Hernandez.
“I told them before the game that there’s two things that’s going to allow us to win this game,” Hernandez said. “They were defense and discipline. Unfortunately, we didn’t bring those two things today. It’s something we’ve been talking about all season. There were two errors on the board, but there were a lot more that weren’t reflected in those two errors, including that pop up. Those things that we’ve been doing all year long, didn’t happen today. At the end of the day, the team that was going to be more disciplined, and the team that was going to play the best defense, was going to win this game.”
Southington (20-2) had won the last three Class LL titles. The Blue Knights had their 77-game winning streak, one shy of tying the state record, snapped earlier this season against Fitch.
“Regardless of our outcome, our senior class is very upset because, obviously, they wanted to get that fourth state championship,” Hernandez said. “But I did remind them that not a lot of people could say they even have one.”
Amity scored on sophomore Carly Marchitto’s single and on an error in the fifth inning to take a 3-0 lead. Carly Marchitto added an RBI single in the sixth to put her team up 4-0.
Sarah Myrick, who reached on an error, scored from third on Emily Mankus’ squeeze bunt to put Southington on the board in the bottom of the sixth.
Koshes hit leadoff batter Michelle Woodruff with a pitch in the bottom of the first and then Mankus singled to put two runners on, but Koshes struck out the next two batters to end the threat. Koshes allowed a single to Janette Wadolowski to lead off the fifth but Koshes worked a fly out and two strikeouts to get out of the inning.
“She (Koshes) was amazing,” Amity coach Sara Hale said. “We had all the confidence in the world in her. She looked ready to go since the first pitch. We knew that she was going to do it, and she came out strong.”
AMITY 4, SOUTHINGTON 1
(at West Haven)
Amity 100 021 0 — 4 5 2
Southington 000 001 0 — 1 2 2
Katie Koshes and Teresa Marchitto; Brenna Sarantides, Kara Zazzaro (5) and Maighread Scafariello.
WP: Katie Koshes. LP: Brenna Sarantides. 2B: (AM) Morgan Perry, Jenna Thomas. RBI: Marchitto (2), Perry (AM); Emily Mankus (STH).
Team records: Amity 22-5; Southington 20-2.