TORRINGTON >> A day after pitching a perfect game in the Class L Softball second round, Torrington’s Ali Dubois (13 strikeouts, 0 hits) was a walk and an error away from throwing another one in a 3-0 quarterfinal win over Pomperaug Thursday at Torrington High School.
“Ali is manning the ship,” said Torrington Coach Maryann Musselman. “She’s going to take us forward.”
“She threw well. Both pitchers did,” said Pomperaug Coach Paul Masotto. “Both teams played well; both are talented and well coached.”
Pomperaug pitcher Ashley Antonazzo and her defense were almost as stingy as Dubois, allowing just four Torrington hits, along with 5 strikeouts and 4 walks.
But, for the second day in a row, the fourth-seeded Red Raiders did what they had to at bat as well as in the field.
“We’re doing a really good job of jumping on mistakes,” said Coach Musselman.
The Raiders have also become good at mopping up their own miscues.
The fifth-seed Panthers put their only two base runners on in the first and second innings. Kaitlyn Flood drew a full-count walk after two Dubois strikeouts in the top of the first inning.
Dubois sent her away with another K.
Torrington’s only error came with two outs in the second. A soft line drive to short ended the mini-threat.
Then the Raiders bore down.
Taylor Rogers and Amanda Thiel waited out full-count walks in the bottom of the second inning, but got no traction at first and second.
In the fourth inning, it was different.
With one out, Dubois walked on four pitches, replaced by pinch runner Alyssa Dowd. Taylor Rogers moved her over with a bunt single. Carissa Carbone sent Dowd home with a single up the middle. Thiel followed with an RBI single to left.
“I think we’re more comfortable now,” said Carbone. “In states, you’ve just gotta get going.”
“Seeing faster pitching more consistently helps,” said Thiel.
Next inning, the comfort showed again.
Ashley Dowd drew a leadoff walk, moving to second on a ground-out. Lauren Jamieson smashed an RBI double to deep left field.
“We’re definitely hitting better,” Jamieson said.
Ahead 3-0 with two innings left, the memory of a walk-off home run by Holy Cross, destroying a Torrington lead in the NVL semifinals, still drove Dubois and her teammates.
“The best thing that happened to us was that Holy Cross game,” said Coach Musselman. “It taught us we can’t let up, even when we think it’s over.”
With the lesson firmly in mind, this one was over.
Dubois struck out five of the six batters she faced in the final innings.
Pomperaug’s season ends at 17-5.
Torrington moves on to the semifinals next week at a date and neutral site to be decided. The Raiders (19-5) face No. 1 seed Fitch-Groton (22-0), the top-ranked team in the GameTimeCT state poll for most of the season.
“The game doesn’t know who’s supposed to win,” said Musselman. “You just have to show up and be ready to play.”
No. 4 Torrington 3, No. 5 Pomperaug 0
At Torrington High School
Pomperaug 000 000 0 – 0 0 1
Torrington 000 210 X – 3 4 1
WP: Ali Dubois. LP: Ashely Antonazzo. 2B: T – Lauren Jamieson.
Records: Pomperaug 17-5; Torrington 19-5.