WEST HAVEN >> Allie Brown scored on Sarah Lawton’s suicide squeeze bunt in the bottom of the eighth to lift Holy Cross back to the Class S championship game with a 2-1 victory over East Granby Thursday at Biondi Field.
Brown led off the rally off with a triple, leading to Lawton’s winning bunt.
Holy Cross will defend its title against Notre Dame-Fairfield, which won in similar fashion over Stafford, in the championship at DeLuca Field in Stratford at 1 p.m. Saturday.
The game, however, is mired in controversy over a call in the top of the eighth inning, which erased East Granby’s go-ahead run and gave the Crusaders a chance at walking off with the victory.
East Granby’s Genna Hartmann was on third base with one out when teammate Lily McCarthy hit a ball to shallow left. Brown, Holy Cross’ shortstop, raced back and made leaping, diving grab that carried her toward the left-field line.
Hartmann, who had tagged up and watched the ball into Brown’s glove, made a beeline for home as Brown fell to the ground in front of the third base umpire.
But Holy Cross appealed to game’s officials, charging that Hartmann was off the bag too early. It was upheld.
However, video evidence produced by the Waterbury Republican-American, shot directly down the third baseline from home play, appeared to prove otherwise.
Perhaps adding to the confusion was this: Though Hartmann seemed to judge Brown’s catch correctly before taking off, Brown’s catch wasn’t called an out by the third base umpire until she had hit the ground. By then, Hartmann was already home.
Regardless, Hartmann was called out and the game went to the bottom of the eighth.
Hannah Brown had two hits and an RBI for Holy Cross. Kaelyn Ludwig scored for East Granby.
Holy Cross 2, East Granby 1 (8)
East Granby 100 000 00 – 1-6-0
Holy Cross 000 010 01 – 2-8-2
WP:Lawton; LP: Hartmann;
Genna Hartmann and Kaelyn Ludwig; Sarah Lawton and Aubry DeFoe.
Team records: East Granby 21-5, Holy Cross 23-3