CHESHIRE – Sam Simione knew exactly what pitch she wanted to look for.
Throughout the game, East Haven pitcher Laura Anderson continued to paint the black on home plate. But with one out in the 11th inning, Simione crushed a pitch over the left field fence to give Cheshire a 4-3 Southern Connecticut Conference victory over East Haven in 11 innings Friday afternoon to cap the first perfect regular season in school history.
“We knew she threw outside, so I was hugging the plate,” Simione said. “I was looking for an outside pitch to drive to left.”
It ended what was starting to become a marathon despite each team having chances to end the contest in extra innings.
East Haven left runners on second base in both the eighth and ninth inning and then runners on first in the 10th and 11th.
Meanwhile, Cheshire stranded five runners on base in the eighth through 10th innings and had a big opportunity to win it in the ninth when it got the first two hitters on base. Anderson, however, got out of the inning.
“We wiggled out of how many jams from the seventh inning on,” East Haven coach Ed Crisafi said. “I figured if we could just score, but we didn’t hit the way we normally do.”
East Haven led for most of the game. After Mia Juodaitis (four hits) singled in a run in the second inning to give the Rams a 1-0 lead, the Yellowjackets bounced right back when Allie Luzzi blasted an opposite field three-run homer over the right field fence to make it 3-1.
It remained that way until the bottom of the seventh inning when Cheshire rallied to deadlock things.
Juodaitis, the ninth-place hitter in the Rams’ lineup, woke up the Cheshire dugout with a home run over the left field fence to make it 3-2.
“That home run got them rolling,” Crisafi said. “We get her out and the leadoff hitter out, there’s two out. But they get the home run and it got their dugout louder. They got rolling and just went from there.”
One out later, Brianna Floyd singled to left and went to second don a wild pitch. After winning pitcher Abigail Abramson walked, Simione singled off the glove of a leaping Danielle Stefania at second base to score Floyd with the tying run.
“We’re not going to give up,” Simione said. “It was a stressful season, but we worked so hard from the beginning of the season.”
Anderson was able to get out of the inning to send the game to extra innings before Simione won it in the 11th to run Cheshire’s winning streak to 20 games this spring.
“It’s definitely not easy in this league with coaches and players like, but our team is resilient,” Drust said. “I know we have a lot more work and more goals to attain, but I’ve been involved with sports for a very long time now and the memories are what’s it’s all about. To come out on Senior Day and be involved in a game like this is priceless.”
Meanwhile, all five of East Haven’s losses have come when the Yellowjackets have been tied or led going to the seventh inning.
“It’s disappointing,” Crisafi said.
East Haven fell to 14-5 with one game remaining in the regular season.\
CHESHIRE 4, EAST HAVEN 3 (11)
East Haven 003 000 000 00 — 3 5 3
Cheshire 010 000 200 01 — 4 10 1
Laura Anderson and Jess Stettinger.; Abby Abramson and Megan Hodgdon..
WP: Abby Abramson. LP: Laura Anderson (). 2B: (EH) Jess Stettinger; (CH) Mia Juodaitis. Hr: Allison Luzzi (EH); Mia Juodaitis (CH); RBI: Luzzi (3) (EH); Sam Simione (2), Juodaitis (2) (CH);
Team records: East Haven 14-5; Cheshire 20-0.