NORTH HAVEN — Fallon Bevino and her Foran teammates are still waiting to put that complete game together. After Monday’s effort in North Haven, the Lions may be getting closer.
Using a 13-hit attack that saw every starter pick up at least one hit, including three apiece from freshman Amanda Mendillo and Bevino, Foran held on for a 10-8 victory in North Haven.
“We got some timely hitting today,” Foran coach Jeff Bevino said after his team improved to 8-5 and qualified for the postseason. “We have not had it all yet. We have one thing, but not the others. The last couple of games, we have had some great defense, but we did not hit. Our defense has not been bad.”
Bevino was the star on offense for the Lions, driving in four runs, including three with a big home run in the fourth inning. Bevino’s single in the second inning scored Dani Kemp to give the Lions a 4-1 lead and her home run in the fourth put Foran on top 8-2.
“This team feeds off each other,” Fallon Bevino said. “We can’t lose focus. I thought we took advantage of our opportunities today. Our base running is very aggressive. We work on that and I think we are very mentally tough.”
The Lions scored early and often, taking a 3-0 lead in the first on a long home run by Mendillo and a two-run single by Hannah DeSousa to score Bevino and Ashley Mendillo.
A Nicole Dunlop run-scoring single in the bottom of the inning scored Amanda Kenny, who had doubled for the Indians. After Bevino singled to score Kemp in the second, North Haven got within 4-2 in the third when Rachel Giatrelis drove in the first of her three runs to score Jillian Oestreicher, who had reached on an error.
“We didn’t hit in the later innings,” North Haven coach Sally Maher said after her team fell to 6-9 and is in danger of missing the postseason. “We had a few opportunities, but we didn’t get that big hit. We were out in front too much.
“We have some tough games left. The tough one was losing to Branford. That was the backbreaker. We were up 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh with two outs and got beat. That was the second time we were left on the field.”
Leading 4-2, Foran put some separation between the two teams, scoring five times in the fourth. Amanda Portoff and Kemp walked to lead off the inning, before a wild pitch by Haley Arnaoutis put two runners in scoring position.
Amanda Mendillo delivered Portoff with a single and Bevino followed with a long home run to center to score three more runs. Natalia Hart drove in the final run of the inning with a single for a 9-2 advantage.
“When you put the ball in play, good things will happen,” Jeff Bevino said. “We got some nice hits today. Everyone hit.”
North Haven answered with three in the bottom off the inning off Ashley Mendillo. A Foran error allowed one run to score, before Giatrelis drove in Mia Martinez and Oestreicher with a single to get within 9-5.
Foran scored its final run in the fifth with Kemp and Amanda Mendillo in the middle of the action once again. Kemp walked with one out, stole second and scored on Amanda Mendillo’s single to left.
Foran pitcher Ashley Mendillo made the lead hold up, retiring the side in order in both the fifth and sixth innings.
North Haven threatened in the seventh, using a two-run-single by Jordyn Sheeley and a run-scoring single by Victoria Bouffard to get within 10-8, but Ashley Mendillo retired Martinez on a fly ball to right to end the game.
Giatrelis led North Haven with three hits and three RBIs, while Sheeley drove in a pair. DeSousa and Amanda Mendillo each drove in a pair for the Lions.