WEST HAVEN >> The postseason may not begin until next week, but don’t tell that to both the Amity and West Haven softball teams.
Playing in front of a big crowd at Biondi Field as part of West Haven’s Senior Night, the Spartans won the second game of the doubleheader 2-1 to complete a sweep of the Westies Saturday night.
The win, coupled with Amity’s 11-5 victory in the opener, allowed the Spartans to finish the regular season with four straight wins — eight victories in their last nine contests — and a 16-4 record.
“The girls played fantastic in the regular season,” Amity coach Loren Purcell said. “We are looking forward to the SCC and state tournaments.”
After outslugging the Westies in the opener, the Spartans had to sweat out the second game as West Haven rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh and had the winning run on second base with Sierra Santana at the plate.
Santana’s bullet was fielded by Amity pitcher Katie Koshes, who threw to first for the out.
The final out ended an inning that saw Marisa Pacapelli and Crista Brennan single with one out to put runners on the corners. Alexis Severino put down a perfect safety squeeze to score Pacapelli and put Brennan at second for Santana.
“It was a good game,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said after his team finished the regular season at 8-12. “I told the kids to keep their heads up. They played a great game. We played a great game against Amity.”
The Spartans threatened in the second inning of the nightcap when Jenna DiLorenzo doubled and moved to third on a sacrifice. With Haley Kober at bat, Purcell called for the safety squeeze, which West Haven turned into an inning-ending double play.
The Spartans finally cracked West Haven pitcher Kial Watts in the fifth inning. DiLorenzo, who was a perfect 3-for-3 in the nightcap, singled to start the inning and scored on Jillian DeMaio’s double to center. DeMaio was thrown out at second on the play, ending the Amity threat.
After West Haven evened the contest in the seventh, Amity came right back in the eighth to pull out the victory.
Janaya Young led off with a double to left, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Heather Watt’s grounder to second in which she beat the throw to the plate.
“The girls were very focused,” Purcell said of getting out of the seventh and rallying in the eighth. “They remained calm and knew what play to make. We just told the girls to do their job and maintain their focus.”
West Haven had one final opportunity to even the game in the bottom of the eighth when Kial Watts led off with a single and Madison Watts singled one out later.
Jolie Morrell followed with a grounder to second that was turned into a force out when Mary Kozan tagged Madison Watts and Koshes struck got a strikeout with runners on the corners to end the game.
“Mary Kozan made a great play at second base,” Purcell said. “I think it took a little steam out of them.”
West Haven had its share of scoring opportunities off Koshes, but didn’t capitalize.
In the first, Kial Watts and Amber Bonewicz singled with one out, but Koshes retired Madison Watts and Morrell to escape without any damage.
Santana was stranded at third in the third, and Pacapelli and Madison Watts singled in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, but were not brought home.
“We had people on base every inning it seemed,” Biondi said. “They made some nice plays. I told the kids to keep their heads up. They played great.”
The opener saw Amity, which was the home team, score three times in the third and five times in the fourth after West Haven got within a run on a single by Madison Watts and a sacrifice fly by Morrell in the top of the inning.
Leading 8-4, Amity put the game away with two more runs in the fifth and another in the sixth.
“It was a funny game,” Biondi said of the opener. “They hit the ball pretty good in the first game.”
Krista Reynolds, Teresa Marchitto, DiLorenzo and DeMaio each had a pair of hits in the 15-hit attack for the Spartans. DiLorenzo drove in three runs in the opener and Marchitto knocked in two.
Bonewicz led the Westies in the opener with two hits, a run scored and an RBI, while Morrell doubled twice and drove in two runs. Pacapelli also had a single and an RBI.