DURHAM >> It took one big inning and a tough left-handed pitcher to put an end to Coginchaug’s season-long win streak.
North Branford took the lead with a four-run uprising in the third and sophomore Lindsay Golia blanked the Blue Devils over the final five innings as the T-birds topped the Blue Devils, 5-2, in a Shoreline Conference softball battle Friday at Durham.
North Branford, which avenged a 6-3 loss to the Blue Devils on April 18, improved to 10-5.
“We played them tough the first game but we made a bunch of errors and we didn’t hit as well,” said North Branford coach T. J. Schatz. “We kind of rise to the occasions. We had a good game against H-K last week. I think there are teams (in the Shoreline) that are all fairly talented. You just have to show up and play.”
It was the Blue Devils (11-1) first loss of the year and a defeat head coach Ann Moscovics put in perspective.
“I think we needed it,” said Moscovics. “It will keep us on our toes. Anything can happen at any time. You can’t take anything for granted. It’s a lesson learned and this is just going to make them stronger.”
Coginchaug took a 2-0 lead in the second on a two-out, two-run single by Taylor Marino.
But the T-birds quickly answered in the third.
North Branford took advantage of an outfield error and a walk and got RBI singles from Kayla Nowak and Sarah Hemstock to it at 2. Then, with two outs and runners on second and third, Sarah Hemstock singled to right against Blue Devils starter Gabby Diaz (nine K’s), giving North Branford a 4-2 cushion.
“One big inning…that’s all it takes,” said Schatz.
Golia and the T-birds defense was terrific the rest of the way. Golia (7-3) scattered four hits and struck out six. She also set the Blue Devils down in order in the fifth and sixth innings.
“She did a great job today,” said Schatz. “She’s had a couple of great games this year and this is certainly one of them. She mixes up her pitches well and she had good velocity today.”
T-birds sophomore Sabrina LeMere belted a long home run over the right field fence in the top of the seventh that made it 5-2.
Deanna Puchalski gave the Blue Devils some hope with a lead-off single in the bottom of the seventh. After Lauren Donnelly’s sacrifice bunt moved Puchalski to second, Marino ripped a liner towards second that was caught by Stephanie Hogan .
“We were off hitting today and our pitch selection wasn’t all that great,” Moscovics added. “But North Branford played well and they hit well. They deserved to win.”