TORRINGTON >> No. 1 Torrington beat No. 8 Kennedy 17-1 in an NVL softball quarterfinal speeding by so fast it required a three-way scorekeeper meeting with the umpires just to agree on the score.
“It was a little bit ugly,” smiled Torrington coach Maryann Musselman.
The third inning of the mercy-rule-shortened five-inning game featured eight Torrington runs on five hits, four errors and a walk, leaving just four earned runs as the Raiders raced around the bases taking advantage of every mistake.
It was a game made to show the relativity of a word like “ugly.”
Most people would agree with Musselman: the third inning was “a little bit ugly.”
“Uglier” for Torrington’s Sydney Matzko (5 innings, 1 unearned run, 1 hit, 13 strikeouts, 0 walks) might have been the loss of her sixth no-hitter of the season to a fifth-inning single by Eagle freshman Alexis Makubika-Tison.
“Ugly” to the normally-flawless Red Raiders was an error following Makubika-Tison’s hit, allowing her to get all the way around the bases for just the sixth run of the season against Torrington in what would have been the Raiders’ 16th shutout.
“Ugly” for Torrington (20-0) was a thing of beauty for the Eagles (8-12).
“I was happy,” beamed Coach Marlena Scialla.
A hit and/or a run is a huge accomplishment this year against Matzko and the Raiders.
“Beautiful” for Scialla was getting both with a sophomore pitching her first varsity game. Beauty was having her starting outfielders missing for work, a field trip and a family reunion, then getting away with patches, sending her first baseman and shortstop out to do the job.
The Raiders got 12 hits, running the bases too fast for three scorekeepers, but just one hit went for extra bases on its own — a leadoff triple by Brittany Anderson (3-for-4, RBI, 3 runs) in the bottom of the first inning.
The six runs that followed in that inning were artful in some ways, a warm-up for third-inning ugliness in others.
Nikki Jamieson (2 runs); Matzko (3 RBI); and Sam Pelow (2 runs) followed Anderson with hits. Marissa Morris (3 runs) and Alexis Tyrrell (2-for-3, 2 RBI, 2 runs) drew walks.
That was the artful part.
Four runs scored on wild pitches. That was a warmup for the third.
Kennedy pitcher Tatyana Rosado (4 innings, 13 earned runs, 12 hits, 1 strikeout, 8 walks) gave up just two runs in the second inning, to Anderson and Morris.
Then the third inning happened. All but three Raiders scored as Torrington whipped through 13 batters and three scorekeepers.
Meanwhile, in the first three innings, Matzko whipped through all but one Eagle with strikeouts.
Makubika-Tison, who has eight home runs this year, did her own warm-up with a ground-out to the mound in the top of the second.
Yaixsa Vargas, who spoiled a Matzko no-hitter two weeks ago, lined out to Anderson in center field in the top of the fourth.
In the bottom of the inning, leading 16-0, freshman Lauren Jamieson walked, scoring the final Torrington run on a sacrifice fly by freshman Ali Dubois.
Makubika-Tison started the fifth with her ground single down the third base line. Matzko threw a strikeout. An infield throw went wild. Makubika-Tison raced to home.
Ugly on one side, beautiful on the other.
Tonight in the semifinal round, Torrington takes on No. 5 Naugatuck (6-3 winners over No. 4 Holy Cross) at Wolcott High School at 6 p.m.
Last week, the Greyhounds played the closest game of the season against the Raiders in a 4-2 loss, thanks to good pitching and lots of bunting.
“It’s a good game for us before states,” said Coach Musselman. “They’ll put the ball in play.”
No. 1 Torrington 17, No. 8 Kennedy 1 (5)
At Torrington High School
Kennedy 000 01—1 1 6
Torrington 628 1x—17 12 1
WP: Sydney Matzko. LP: Tatyana Rosado. 3B: T—Brittany Anderson.
Records: Kennedy 8-12; Torrington 20-0.
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