It was quite the return for Sacred Heart Academy senior pitcher Molly Flowers. After missing one week with a wrist injury, Flowers won three of four games in dominating fashion.
After losing to Cheshire 7-4 last Monday, Flowers rebounded to strike out 15 in a 2-1 win over Shelton, allowed three hits and struck out 13 in a 10-1 victory over Foran and then gave up just five hits and struck out 14 in a 10-4 win over East Haven. Sacred Heart Academy is now 4-4 this season.
Flowers was cleared by her doctor to play last week, but Pacers coach Ray Ramelli insisted he would not start his ace unless she could protect herself. Flowers’ injury was to her left wrist, her glove hand, and Ramelli was being cautious.
“She assured me, and so did her mom, that she could play,” Ramelli said. “And she insisted she wanted to hit, too, so it was a go.
“Her being on the mound really changes things for us. The kids know that if they can get her a few runs, then we should be OK. In the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, she’s tough to beat if she gets ahead.”
Flowers is 4-2 this season with 58 strikeouts and just four walks in 43 innings. She’s allowed just seven earned runs.
Flowers, though, has a strong supporting cast that includes senior captains Amanda Beecher (first base) and Courtney Nowicki (third base), junior second baseman Becca Marks, sophomore shortstop Emily Velez and freshman catcher Maighread Scafariello. The Pacers have hit well recently, scoring 20 runs in its last two games.
“We work really hard — up to two hours a day — on hitting,” Ramelli said. “A lot of credit has to go to my son Al, my top assistant. We hit as many as 80-100 balls a day.”
The Pacers hope to continue their hot streak, although they have a challenging schedule this week with homes against Mercy (today), West Haven (Wednesday) and Amity (Friday). But confidence is as strong as its been all season.
“They’re starting to believe they can play with anybody,” Ramelli said.