TORRINGTON >> Torrington’s softball team overcame a slow start for a third win this season, 4-1, over Rockville in a Class L second round state tournament game at Torrington High School Wednesday afternoon.
“You kind of know what to expect,” said Torrington first baseman Amanda Thiel (2-for-3, 2 RBI), returning to the field after missing several games with an ankle sprain.
“It really makes no difference,” said third baseman Carissa Carbone (2 RBI, 2 runs). “Teams play differently on different days.”
Experience called both players right.
In a double encounter with the Rams on an early-season trip to Florida’s ESPN Sports Complex, the No. 4 Red Raiders (19-4) handled No. 13 Rockville (14-8) easily in a first unofficial game with several Ram starters missing. An official game that followed, with Rockville’s whole team in place, went nine innings for a 2-1 Torrington win.
Wednesday’s game between the NVL and CCC rivals figured to be a scramble.
The first two innings leaned toward the Rams. Torrington pitcher Ali DuBois (7 innings, 1 earned run, 3 hits, 9 strikeouts, 1 walk) struck out two Rams in the first inning, but Rockville’s Chelsea Chatterton slammed a 2-2 pitch up the middle for the game’s first hit.
After Torrington went down in order with two strikeouts by Ram pitcher Morgan Bolduk (6 innings, 3 earned runs, 8 hits, 2 hit batters), Rockville pushed a run across in the top of the second on a leadoff walk to Shannon Skivington, a groundout and an RBI single by Allison Alleano.
DuBois got Torrington’s first hit in the bottom of the inning, but a Rockville double play erased her pinch runner. When a hit batter and Rockville error in the bottom of the third got Torrington runners Alyssa Dowd and Alexis Tyrrell only as far as second and third, Torrington’s outlook seemed cloudy.
“We started flat, but our senior leadership is unbelievable,” said Torrington Coach Maryann Musselman.
DuBois tightened up on the mound, allowing just one more hit in the game.
“Seeing a team three times has advantages and disadvantages,” she said. “I know who’s a good hitter and what pitches they like.”
This time, her changeup was devastating.
Carbone gathered her hitters in the dugout, telling them to move up in the box against Bolduk’s riser.
“They made an adjustment. They moved in on her,” said Rockville Coach Frank Levick.
A two-base Rockville error and an RBI single by Thiel tied the score in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Next inning, hits by Dowd (run), Tyrrell (2-for-4, run), Carbone (2 RBI) and Thiel (RBI) combined with a Rockville error and hit batter for three more runs and the game.
“They weren’t cheap shots. They hit the ball,” said Musselman.
“They’re a good team. They could go all the way,” said Levick.
No. 5 North Haven is Torrington’s next obstacle, in the quarterfinals Friday at Torrington High School, 4 p.m.
No. 4 Torrington 4, No. 13 Rockville 1
At Torrington High School
Rockville 010 000 0 – 1 3 3
Torrington 000 130 X – 4 8 1
WP: Ali DuBois. LP: Morgan Bolduk.
Records: Rockville 14-8; Torrington 19-4.