MADISON >> After losing to Foran on Monday, the Mercy softball team was going to put a hurting on someone very soon.
Unfortunately for Hand, it was in the way Wednesday afternoon as Mercy rolled to a 20-1 Southern Connecticut Conference victory in a game that was stopped after 6 innings due to the 15-run lead mercy-rule.
“We came out hungry today,” said Ann Drewry, who ran the team along with Marji Sklar-Levine for Mercy head coach Tony Calcagni. “The focus was on point today. The girls had to prove it to themselves, and did it both offensively and defensively.”
It was one of those days defensively for Hand as the hosts made eight errors in the first four innings and 11 overall, including dropping a bunch of pop-ups that either extended innings or at-bats.
“You can’t do that against anybody and win,” said Hand coach Mike Niekrash. “And you can’t make 11 errors and play in this league. When the wheels come off, they snowball and it feeds on itself.”
What also didn’t help Hand was that sophomore pitcher Katie Omdahl suffered what Niekrash called a quad injury in the first inning. Omdahl couldn’t push off hard enough to get enough velocity and without a backup pitcher, Omdahl took the hit for Hand on the night.
“It impacted the way she pitched,” Niekrash said. “Give her a lot of credit. When the team behind her plays like that, it’s very difficult.”
Mercy (2-2) has been dominate in its two wins, having outscored Hamden and Hand, 37-2. Along with scoring 11 runs in its two losses, Mercy is averaging 12 runs a game.
The visiting Tigers scored five runs in the top of the first inning and with winning pitcher Brianne Sawicki allowing just four hits and one walk in six innings, they were plenty.
When leadoff hitter Astin Donovan’s pop-up was dropped in short right field, it was an omen of things to come.
“The first play of the game set the tone,” said Niekrash. “We got Donovan to pop up and we don’t make the play, but thankfully it’s only one game. It’s just unfortunate it was at home and against Mercy.”
Maddie Kumm had a two-run single to fuel the first inning rally for Mercy, which added two runs in the second and three unearned runs in the third.
Hand (3-2) scored its only run of the game in the bottom of the third inning when Hollis Wivell reached on an infield hit, stole second and scored when Maddie Yaggi and Annah Curcio followed with back-to-back singles to center.
Mercy put the game into mercy-rule territory in the top of the sixth when it scored nine runs. Madison DeRita tripled and scored twice in the inning, while Stephanie Dean had a couple of hits and scored twice herself.