DURHAM >> It’s not often that a 1-2-5 double play ends a softball game, but that’s what transpired between Old Saybrook and host Coginchaug Wednesday.
Trailing by a run, Coginchaug loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning.
That’s when Courtney Votto looped a fly ball which drifted towards the foul line. The ball, which barely went 10 feet in the air, went off the glove of a charging Effie Gianitsos, the Old Saybrook pitcher. Gianitsos, though, recovered in time to get the force out at home.
Rams catcher Paige Trabucchi then threw to third to force out the runner coming from second base as Old Saybrook completed the double play and held on for a 2-1 Shoreline Conference victory.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Old Saybrook coach Laura Westner said.
Coginchaug coach Ann Moscovics shared Westner’s sentiment.
“That was very bizarre,” Moscovics said. “We were just talking about that. We have never seen a game end like that.”
Said Gianitsos: “I just listened to what all my teammates were screaming at me. It didn’t take too much brain.”
With the victory, the Rams (8-4) not only qualified for the Class S state tournament, but they also earned a quality win over one of the conference’s best programs.
“It’s reassurance that we belong in the top part of the Shoreline Conference,” Westner said. “We’ve beaten all the teams we should beat but, unfortunately, our record doesn’t reflect, I think, the team that we are. It gives us our confidence back.”
A mental miscue allowed Old Saybrook to score the eventual winning run. With runners on first and third with two outs, Laura MacLeod hit a slow grounder up the middle, which was fielded by Coginchaug pitcher Gabby Diaz.
Instead of going to first, Diaz threw home, where Emily Santamaria beat the throw and scored.
“It was mental errors,” Moscovics gave as a reason for the loss.
Santamaria’s run-scoring double tied the game at 1 earlier in the inning.
“This game, we started out a little dull, but then we came out strong and had a rally,” Santamaria said.
Coginchaug (12-3) took a 1-0 lead in the third on freshman Destiny Helmedach’s run-scoring single. Helmedach had two hits for the Blue Devils, who have lost three out of four after starting the season at 11-0.
“Maybe the 11-0 got to their heads a little, and maybe they got relaxed,” Moscovics said. “I don’t know. Those mental errors have not been characteristic of our season. I think maybe they try too hard at times, and they put too much pressure on themselves, but we haven’t been playing like that (with mental errors).”
Diaz allowed just three hits, walked two and struck out six. Trabucchi had two of the hits for the Rams.
Gianitsos surrendered four hits, walked four and struck out five. Gianitsos retired seven in a row at one point, and didn’t allow a hit in the fourth, fifth or sixth innings.
“I felt a lot better than most games,” Gianitsos said. “Me and my catcher have straightened some things out and we’re calling some great games now. We’re definitely incorporating different pitches. I’m hopefully going to keep that up.”
OLD SAYBROOK 2, COGINCHAUG 1
Old Saybrook 000 002 0 — 2 3 2
Coginchaug 001 000 0 — 1 4 1
Effie Gianitsos and Paige Trabucchi; Gabby Diaz and Natalie Labasi.
WP: Effie Gianitsos (8-4). LP: Gabby Diaz (11-3). 2B: (OS) Paige Trabucchi, Emily Santamaria. 3B: (OS) Paige Trabucchi; (COG) Naomi Rinaldo.
Team records: Old Saybrook 8-4; Coginchaug 12-3.