WATERBURY >> Holy Cross softball beat Torrington 1-0 Tuesday afternoon in a game that every good softball team lives for.
The two-time defending Class S state champion Crusaders (5-1) faced the Class L semifinalists Red Raiders (3-2) with their ace pitchers on the mound and the core of the teams that brought them to last year’s heights behind them. Each team’s sole loss coming in was to defending Class M and NVL champion Seymour.
“It’s the type of game you want to play all year,” said Holy Cross Coach Megan Dwyer, bemoaning the fact that the league’s schedule gives the Crusaders just one crack at Torrington and Seymour during the regular season.
It’s the type of game in which any mistake can win or lose the game (there were none on Tuesday); any hit sends the player home feeling good (a total of seven Tuesday).
Two fourth-inning hits and an RBI groundout was the difference for the Crusaders.
Cross junior Alex Lombardo (2-for-3) led off with a double to the left center field gap. Sophomore Val Nobrega sent pinch runner Julia Joyce to third with a single.
Torrington third baseman Carissa Carbone held Joyce on third with one groundout. Another, by freshman Jenna Mowad, went to second baseman Alexis Tyrrell, with no chance to catch Joyce streaking for home.
Torrington senior Ali Dubois allowed just three other hits in the game amid seven strikeouts and one walk.
“She has good movement and speed,” said Lombardo. “All I wanted to do was hit the ball.”
One run was enough for Holy Cross’ Sarah Lawton. The Crusader veteran gave up just two hits in the game – both to Tyrrell – along with 12 strikeouts and one walk.
“It’s a really good feeling,” said Lawton, a senior heading for the No. 3-ranked junior college softball program in the country next year, Florida SouthWest State College in Ft. Meyers.
Dubois, heading for Division I Boston University, stranded Lawton and Lombardo on first and second after back-to-back singles in the bottom of the first inning.
Torrington’s Sidnee Kovall and Tyrrell died on second and third after a walk and a single in the third.
Lawton allowed just one more baserunner in the game – a sixth-inning single by Tyrrell, who reached second on a sacrifice before the inning ended with a failed bunt-singlet attempt.
“We’ve got to hit the ball,” said Torrington Coach Maryann Musselman.
After all, in a game like this, every hit has the potential to count.
Holy Cross 1, Torrington 0
At Holy Cross High School
Torrington 000 000 0 – 0 2 0
Holy Cross 000 100 X – 1 5 0
WP: Sarah Lawton. LP: Ali Dubois. 2B: HC – Alex Lombardo.
Records: Torrington 3-2; Holy Cross 5-1.