ORANGE >> Karly Morales admitted she was nervous before she stepped to the plate with two on and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and locked in a scoreless tie with Seymour.
But the Mystic/Groton third baseman delivered, driving in the winning run with a line drive up the middle to lift Mystic/Groton to a 1-0 walk-off victory over Seymour in Game 2 of the Little League softball state championship series Sunday at Stankye Field.
“I just had to calm down and swing the bat like I knew how to,” Morales said. “I just blocked out all the negative things that happened before. It was a good hit.”
Morales’ heroics set up a winner-take-all Game 3, to be played Monday night at 7 at the same site. Seymour won 1-0 in the first game on Saturday.
Megan Giwoyna led off the bottom of the seventh with a single then moved to second on Nora Ryan’s sacrifice bunt. Aspen Ryan then put runners on first and third with an infield single before Morales drove home Giwoyna with the winning run.
The normally potent Mystic/Groton squad had just five hits off Seymour pitcher Molly Adamo, but took advantage of its opportunities in the final inning.
“These girls just don’t (buckle) under the pressure,” Mystic/Groton manager Pete Georgetti said. “I told them that’s a great quality to have when you’re playing at this level. You got to step it up when it’s on the line. It was a perfect base hit, just what we needed at the right time.”
Despite getting just three hits off winning pitcher Allison Georgetti, Seymour had several chances to score.
Back-to-back singles by Jill Andes and Kolby Sirowich, followed by a sacrifice bunt from Sierra Cripps, put runners on second and third in the first inning. But Georgetti worked a pop out to end the threat.
“We got ourselves a couple times with some runners in scoring position and just lacked the execution that we needed to put the production over the plate today,” Seymour manager Dawn Supranovich said.
Seymour stranded a runner on second in the second, and then had a runner thrown out trying to steal home in the third.
Megan Condo led off that inning with a single. She stole second, and then went to third after tagging up on a fly out. The Mystic/Groton coaches, though, thought Condo left second early and had Georgetti step off the mound and throw to second on the appeal play. The umpire ruled Condo had left safely, and that’s when Supranovich sent Condo home. The throw from second was perfect and Condo was called out.
“I thought, for them, it was going to have to be two great throws to get her,” Supranovich said. “Megan is one of our fastest runners, so I thought let’s take a chance for an opportunity.”
Georgetti didn’t walk a batter and struck out three. Adamo also did not issue a free pass and struck out seven. Neither team made an error.
“These are two great teams,” Supranovich said. “Clearly these girls have worked so hard to get here. On both sides of the ball we’re seeing some great softball.”