MILFORD — The Law softball team was well aware of what a win on Wednesday night against cross-town rival Foran would mean to the program. A victory not only would give the Eagles a split of the regular-season series, but would also give the team the division regular-season title.
Scoring four times in the eighth inning with two outs, Law defeated the Lions 4-0 at Foran High. With the win, Law improved to 13-4 overall and 7-1 in the division.
“This is huge,” Law coach Melanie Paolini said of winning the division. “The girls have worked so hard. We have played in so many tight games. It is just a matter of our bats exploding. If that happens, we can beat anybody.
“Today was the best at-bats we put together one through nine all season. The girls wanted to hit so bad all game. They (Foran) made all the plays. We were waiting for that one inning to happen.”
That one inning Paolini was talking about came in the eighth. With two outs, Jenna Bernard ripped a double and Amanda Leone was intentionally walked.
Danielle Gray singled to score pinch-runner Megan Smith and Erin Saley followed with a single to center. An error on the play allowed both Leone and Gray to score and Saley to advance to third.
Justine Bannon then reached on an error at short to score Saley for the 4-0 lead.
“We both had runners on, but we did not capitalize,” Foran coach Jeff Bevino said after his team lost its fourth game in five attempts, and fell to 8-7. “They had two outs and they get the double. They got the hits they needed.
“We are just not getting that complete game. We are either hitting or fielding. We played well. We just did not get the hit when we needed it.”
Law’s Bernard went the distance in the pitching circle, allowing just three hits while striking out five and walking one. Bernard retired the side in order four times, including the fifth through seventh innings, and worked out of trouble just twice.
“The eighth inning was humongous,” Paolini said. “(Erin) Saley has been unbelievable this year. She is a three-sport varsity athlete her freshman year and all of her sophomore year. She works hard and she listens. That shot to center scored two runs.”
Foran’s inability to score started early in the game. Fallon Bevino walked with two outs in the first and Dani Kemp singled with two outs in the third, but each was left stranded.
In the fourth, Bevino led off with a double and was sacrificed to third. Bernard escaped without allowing a run, getting Hannah DeSousa on a liner to short and striking out Jenna Zacarelli to end the inning.
Foran’s last rally came in the eighth.
Natalia Hart led off with an infield single and Kayla Gosselin reached on an error. Bernard wiggled out of trouble without any damage by recording a strikeout, getting Kemp on a fly ball to right and working Amanda Mendillo into a grounder to short to end the contest.
“This was the best I have seen her,” Paolini said of Bernard. “She got so many fly balls today. A lot of balls come off the bat and it sounds like it is broken. All of her pitches were working. She had them off balance.
“The first two batters got on in the eighth inning and she kept her composure. It was an all-around good game.”
Law also had its opportunities to score in the game prior to the eighth inning. Gray walked with one out in the second and moved to second on a ground out by Saley, but failed to score.
The Eagles’ best chance to get on the board before extra innings came in the sixth. Cassidy Boath led off the sixth with a single, Steph Cameron sacrificed her to second and Gege Romero reached on an error to put a pair of runners in scoring position.
Bernard ripped a laser to deep center, but Boath did not tag. Leone was intentionally walked, Gray hit a fly ball to right to end the inning.
Ashley Mendillo also went the distance for the Lions, allowing four runs on five hits.