WOODBRIDGE — Good teams find ways to win. The Amity softball team is proving to be a good team.
Behind the pitching and hitting of senior Kelly Pritchard, Amity held off several Foran rallies to post a 4-2 victory in a Southern Connecticut Conference Oronoque Division contest at Amity High on Friday.
Pritchard came up big in the pitching circle throughout, but it was her long three-run homer in the first inning that proved to be the difference.
“I just try to put the ball in play,” Pritchard said. “Once we hit, we all keep it going.”
Amity, ranked seventh in the GameTimeCt Top 10 poll, came up with all the big plays to help end several Foran rallies. The Lions stranded 10 runners on base, including the bases loaded in the fourth and two more in the sixth.
“They got the three in the first and I thought we did a great job after that,” Foran coach Julie Johnson said. “We had a lot of opportunities which is good. We just could not capitalize.”
Pritchard helped her own cause in the first inning. After Corynne Chadwick doubled and Juliette Zito walked, Pritchard launched a long homer to left to put Amity on top 3-0.
That was all the Spartans (7-2) needed. Pritchard allowed just five hits, while striking out seven and walking three. The Lions scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, but let too many opportunities pass by without capitalizing.
A pair of walks by Pritchard in the second allowed Foran to have runners on the corners with two outs, but Pritchard escaped when she got Jenna Cichowski on a grounder to the circle.
Foran’s biggest opportunity came in the fourth when Chloe Nittoly walked, Alexandria Hart sacrificed and reached on an error, and Lauren Stroffolino singled to center to load the bases. Pritchard then struck out the next two batters, and got the dangerous Kendall LaMorte on a fly ball to center to end the rally.
“A lot of credit goes to her (Pritchard),” Amity coach Sara Hale said. “She took care of business. Her defense made plays behind her, but she took care of it on her own too.”
Foran (4-5) got on the board in the fifth when Mary Rodrigues reached on a one-out error, Viesselman singled, and a grounder put runners on the corners. A passed ball scored Rodrigues, but the Lions stranded Nittoly on third.
Foran again put the first two runners on in the sixth and got within a run when LaMorte hit a one-out single to score Stroffolino. After a passed ball put a pair of runners in scoring position, Pritchard took care of business with a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.
“I tried to make my pitches, and I had my defense working hard behind me,” Pritchard said. “They made all the plays.”
Amity extended the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the inning when an error on a pickoff attempt allowed Kylee McClain to score. Pritchard retired the Lions in order in the seventh to preserve the victory.
Viesselman also threw a complete game for the Lions, allowing four runs on five hits, while walking four and striking out four.
Player of the Game
Kelly Pritchard, Amity: Senior not only came up big in the pitcher’s circle, tossing a complete-game five-hitter, but also launched a three-run homer in the first inning.
“We work hard every day. We come out and play every game like it is a big game. We come ready to play offensively and defensively.”
— Amity coach Sara Hale