STRATFORD — On May 14, Griswold lost to North Branford.
On Thursday, behind a perfect performance by senior pitcher Maya Waldron, the Wolverines returned the favor by beating the Thunderbirds 4-0 in the Class M semifinals.
“When that game got over at North Branford the team got together,” Griswold coach Rick Arremony said. “They were saying “we can beat that team, we want to see them again, we’re going to prepare for them and that loss will make us better.” And it did.
“I don’t know about a chip. But on a mission,” Arremony said. “We were 48-3 coming into this game over the past two years and they had two of our losses. Two to them one to Fitch, they were our last two.”
Griswold will play St. Joseph in the Class M finals on Saturday, 1 p.m. at West Haven.
Waldron wasn’t just lights out, she was perfect.
The senior ace retired all 21 batters she faced. She sent 15 down via the strikeout.
“That’s a rarity but you’re looking at one of the best pitchers in the state,” Arremony said. “That was a proven fact today. She took a 25-0 team and perfect gamed them, that’s an incredible feat.”
Until she looked at scoreboard in the seventh inning Waldon had no clue she was throwing a perfect game. Also she had never thrown a perfect game in her career, just a no-hitter her sophomore year and a couple in travel ball.
But this was different.
“It wasn’t as special,” she said of her previous no-hitters. “In the state semifinals that’s special.”
Opposing Waldron was North Branford ace Sydney Senerchia and the Wolverines knew they would have their hands full.
‘We just saw two of the best pitchers in the state going at each other,” Arremony said.
Senerchia countered Waldron’s 15 strikeouts with 12 of her own. The Wolverines though pounded out seven hits.
“She’s a great pitcher too,” Waldron said. “We knew she would give us some challenges. But we attacked and got the job done.”
Senior Madison LaBossiere saved her first career home run for the second inning, giving the Wolverines a 1-0 lead.
Griswold added two more in the fourth, highlighted by a Sarah Aviles RBI bunt single.
For North Branford its undefeated season came to close, short a state title.
“Just the ball didn’t roll the way we wanted it,” North Branford coach Nick Delizio said.
“It wasn’t the storybook season.”
The three Thunderbird seniors Lexi Hemstock, Daniell Ramada and Senerchia leave the program with four more conference championships and as a household program across the state.
“They made this program from something that was not known to elite status,” Delizio said. “I’m very proud of those girls.”
GRISWOLD 4, NORTH BRANFORD 0
Griswold 010 200 0 – 4 7 0
North Branford 000 000 0 – 0 0 1
Batteries: G – Maya Waldron and Kamryn Gurnee. NB – Sydney Senercia and Kayla Despes.
WP: Maya Waldron LP: Sydney Senerica
HR: G – Madison LaBossiere