HAMDEN >> With a big week ahead, Lauralton Hall senior Lindsey Spitz knew her team needed a good start to the week. The third baseman was more than happy to do her part.
Pounding three hits, including two long home runs, reaching base five times and driving in four runs, Spitz helped lead a 21-hit attack as the Crusaders, ranked seventh in the Register/GameTimeCt Top 10 poll, defeated Sacred Heart Academy 18-3 in Hamden Monday afternoon.
“We have been practicing our hitting a lot,” Spitz said after the Crusaders improved to 10-1. “We want to wait until we get our pitch. We don’t want to be anxious. We are working the count. I think once one player makes a big play, it gets everyone excited. Everyone works hard.”
Spitz was not alone as the top five hitters in the order combined for 18 of the hits. Leadoff hitter Jaclyn Brewster had five hits, including a pair of doubles and three singles to go along with three runs batted in, Alexa Dawid had four hits and reached base five times, and Kaitlyn Mingione and Ireland Miessau each had three hits.
“Our game plan is to consistently put the pressure on,” Lauralton Hall coach Amanda Acampora said. “We want to work the count. We are constantly counting pitches we throw and pitches we see. The goal is to have the other team throw more pitches. We want to lengthen our at bats. That is important. We constantly practice that. Not to look too far ahead, but in the SCC and state tournaments, we are going to need timely hitting to be successful.”
The Crusaders also got senior pitcher Haley Congdon back in the pitching circle to start the game. While Congdon, who has been hampered with an injury, started, Miessau finished strong after the Pacers evened the game at two in the second inning when Taylor Weiss grounded out to score Anibelle Carbo.
Miessau allowed just one run in six innings of work on three hits, while striking out eight to pick up her tenth victory of the year.
“Ireland did a great job,” Acampora said. “She has been a work horse. She has done a phenomenal job. She is 10-1. She pitched today and she knows we are trying to bring Haley back to give us that 1-2 punch.”
With the game even at two to start the third inning, Spitz started a rally which sent 13 batters to the plate, scoring eight runs.
Spitz opened the inning with a long homer to left for a 3-2 lead, Mingione walked and Miessau singled.
With runners on second and third, Lauralton took a 4-2 lead on a Sacred Heart error, before another error by the Pacers extended the margin to 5-2.
Brewster broke the game open when her single scored a pair and Dawid followed with another single to put runners on the corners. When Spitz launched her second homer to left, the Crusaders had a 10-2 advantage.
“That was a big deal,” Acampora said of the third inning rally. “This is a senior-heavy lineup. They stepped up.”
The Pacers (4-8) got within 10-3 in the fourth when Kate Napierkowski singled to drive in a run, but Sacred Heart never got closer.
Lauralton answered with four more runs in the fifth and two in each of the sixth and seventh innings.
Miessau had the big hit in the fifth as her triple delivered three runs, before Christiana Cottrell followed with a run-scoring single.
Lauralton took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Brewster and Dawid started with singles and Spitz walked to load the bases. Mingione delivered one run with an infield single and a passed ball scored another run.
The Pacers answered quickly in the bottom half as Becca Marks ripped a line drive homer over the fence in left with two outs.
Sacred Heart pitcher Julia Haeckel and Katelynn Grieco led the way for the Pacers with two hits apiece.
LAURALTON HALL 18, SACRED HEART ACADEMY 3
Lauralton 208 142 2 — 18 16 0
SHA 110 100 0 — 3 6 5
Haley Congdon (3) and Ireland Miessali and Alex Moleski; Julia Haeckel and Brittany LaChance.
WP:Ireland Miessali. LP: Julia Haeckel. RBI: Lindsey Spitz(4), Kaitlyn Mingione (1), Ireland Miessali (3), Emma Larke (1) (LH); Becca Marks (1), Taylor Weiss (1), Jessica McDonald (1) (SHA).
Notes: Lindsey Spitz (2 HR), Becca Marks (1 HR)
Team records: Lauralton Hall; Sacred Heart Academy 4-8.