BRANFORD — Jordyn Brecciaroli took a peek at the North Haven infield and saw it was playing back at normal depth.
Time for the Branford third baseman to take matters into her own hands.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Brecciaroli laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to bring Tara Dering home with the winning run as Branford scored three times in the inning to beat North Haven, 4-3, Wednesday afternoon.
And it came unbeknownst to everyone, including Dering and the Hornets’ coaching staff.
“It wasn’t called. I called it myself,” Brecciaroli said moments after being mobbed by her teammates. “I saw they were back and weren’t expecting it.”
The Hornets had trailed, 3-1, with two outs in the inning. Twice they were one strike away from losing, but Marissa Guglielmi knocked in a pair of runs with a bases-loaded single.
“I’m happy for Marissa, who had been in somewhat of a hitting slump,” Branford coach Chuck Reale said. “That was a huge hit for her.”
After North Haven decided to intentionally walk Sydney DeGoursey to fill the bases again, Brecciaroli became the hero.
“Nobody knew in the park,” Reale said. “When I called her aside, I told her to relax and the first pitch you see put the bat on the ball.”
North Haven took an early lead on the first batter of the game. Second baseman Mia Martinez lined a single to right field that was misplayed and Martinez scored to make it 1-0 a couple pitches into the game.
The Hornets knotted things at 1-1 in the bottom of the third when Matilda Kreider singled to right and a North Haven error pushed Kreider into scoring position at second. After Jamie Ardito sacrificed her to third, a wild pitch brought her home.
North Haven pitcher Haley Arnaoutis helped herself to get the lead in the sixth inning when she laced a Megan Ferraro offering down the left-field line for a two-run inside-the-park home run.
Branford improved to 5-7 with the victory. The Hornets need three wins in their final eight games to qualify for the CIAC Class L state tournament.
“We have a little leeway and something to play with,” Reale said. “It was also a good one to win in the middle of the week.”
North Haven fell to 6-8 with the loss.
“I have to give it to them,” North Haven coach Sally Maher said. “We had two outs and they came back to win the game. We have to score more than one run going to the fifth inning. We didn’t get some bunts down.”