SOUTHINGTON >> In a tournament-quality game at Southington High School Thursday afternoon, errors counted for more than hits in a 2-0 Southington win over Torrington.
The Red Raiders out-hit the two-time defending Class LL State Champions, 5-2, but Torrington made three fielding errors to none by the Blue Knights.
Two of the errors led to unearned runs.
“I thought it would be a pitching duel,” said Torrington coach Maryann Musselman. “In that kind of game, it’s whoever makes a mistake. This time it was us.”
“We knew this was going to be a great team,” said Southington coach Davina Hernandez. “They lost Sydney (Matzko), but, after we scrimmaged them (in preseason), we knew they could hit.”
Southington ranks No. 1 in the GameTimeCT softball poll. The Blue Knight winning streak is now 55 games without a loss.
Without Matzko, the Raiders believe they have a lot to prove.
Thursday, they began the task in the first inning.
After All-State pitcher Kendra Friedt (7 innings, 5 hits, 15 strikeouts, 3 walks) struck out the first two Torrington batters, Marissa Morris (2-for-2) and Ali Dubois drew walks. Lauren Jamieson slapped a bunt deep into the infield for a hit.
The bases were loaded. Torrington went down on another bunt attempt.
Both teams knew there was a battle in store.
Southington proved its opening qualifications in the bottom of the inning.
With one out, Torrington sophomore Ali Dubois (6 innings, 2 hits, 0 earned runs, 7 strikeouts, 2 walks) hit Emily Lippincott with a curve that didn’t break, then walked the bases full after a second out.
Dubois got the last batter swinging.
Southington’s Friedt is headed for Boston College.
“I think we proved we have a phenomenal pitcher, too,” said Coach Musselman.
“I think she’s great,” said Coach Hernandez. “I think she’s going to have a great career. Her changeup wasn’t working to begin with and she stuck with it. It got better as the game progressed.”
Torrington went down in order in the top of the second.
In the bottom, Southington lead-off Hayley Arduini reached first on a wide throw, then second on a one-out sacrifice bunt by Bella Russo.
With two outs, Kaitlyn Paterson, number one in the Knights’ lineup, lined a triple to dead center in Southington’s deep outfield.
The run scored. Dubois finished the inning on strikes.
The game stayed 1-0 for two more innings.
The Raiders flirted with chances – a single by Morris in the third, one by C.C. Carbone in the fourth – but couldn’t gather the threat.
Friedt struck out the side in the fifth.
Dubois struck out all three Southington batters in the fourth.
A Raider error bit Torrington again in the fifth on a high throw off a bunt by Lippincott. The speedy senior got all the way to third. A sacrifice fly to left field by Lauren Zazzaro brought her in, 2-0.
Morris led off with her second hit in the top of the sixth. Dubois followed with her second walk. Friedt squashed them with two strikeouts and a fly to right.
Some thought that was Torrington’s last gasp. Not senior captain Brittany Anderson.
Anderson came up with two outs in the top of the seventh, worked a full count, then bashed a double to left center field. Ten more yards would have cleared the fence for a feel-good home run.
If the Raiders couldn’t have two, they didn’t need one to feel good.
“I told the girls you have no reason to be upset,” said Anderson.
“I like this kind of game,” said Friedt.
“I’d like to play Southington every day,” said Coach Musselman.
Instead, the Raiders visit 1-12 Wilby at Bucks Hill Park this afternoon.
Southington hosts 6-5 Conard.
Southington 2, Torrington 0
At Southington High School
Torrington 000 000 0 – 0 5 3
Southington 010 010 X – 2 2 0
WP: Kendra Friedt. LP: Ali Dubois. 3B: S – Kaitlyn Paterson. 2B: T – Brittany Anderson.
Records: Torrington 9-3; Southington 10-0.