Early runs help New Britain softball beat Newington for first time in 12 tries

Published on Thursday, 5 April 2018 21:20
Written by SHELBY IAVA


NEW BRITAIN - Joel Simmone has played Newington 11 times in his four years he’s been the New Britain head softball coach and each time came away with a loss.

That was until Thursday afternoon when the Hurricane used a three-run first inning on their way to a 4-2 win over the Indians.

“These girls get me emotional and the [assistant] coach called a great game pitching,” Simmone said. “We made great plays, we made the hits in the beginning when we needed them and that’s really it. I’m just really happy.”

Gabrielle Roy, Gianna Gonzalez and Amanda Jacobs provided back-to-back-back RBI in the bottom of the first inning that proved to be the difference in the game.

Roy singled the first pitch she saw, driving in Cristina Velazquez, who had reached third on an error. Gonzalez then stepped up to the plate and on a 3-1 count, tripled to bring in Roy, while Jacobs closed out the Hurricanes’ scoring in the first with a single of her own.

“It’s a huge win for us,” Roy said. “Newington for softball has definitely been one of our rivals. They always have great teams every year. They always have great people and a great coach. Today was just a big W.”

The Hurricanes had a chance to tack on some more runs in the first, threatening with a bases-loaded, two-out situation, but Newington’s Danielle Pantano struck out Jada Lawson to get out of the jam and prevent any more damage.

“New Britain definitely got off to a good start,” Pantano said. “Our defense wasn’t the strongest in the first inning, but we were able to get our bats going later on and we just hung in there.”

Newington was able to get a run back in the top of the second.

After Pantono reached first on a fielding error, Morgan Stegmaier singled and Yasmin Rincon was hit by a pitch to load the bases. But after Josleen Rivera stuck out McKenna DeLucca, Prachi Dave drew a walk to bring Pantono home. But the Indians too left the bases loaded to end the inning.

“New Britain came out ready to play and we didn’t come out as well as we should have,” Newington head coach Steve Markie said. “They jumped on us, we battled and hung in there, you just can’t get yourself down and then try to chase teams. We got kids on base. We just didn’t score when we needed to.”

The Hurricanes, however, got the run back in the bottom of the frame. Pantano struck Rivera with the ball to put her on first. After a Velazquez walk, Rivera Roy singled to drive in her second RBI of the game.

“We just started off and we had a good positive vibe and kept with it the entire game,” Rivera said. “Even though it was cold, it was really cold and we didn’t let that stop us.”

The Indians’ final run came in the fourth on an Amanda Akerley ground out that brought DeLucca home.

New Britain remained in control the rest of the way.

“This team is much different than any other team I’ve had,” Simmone said. “Our schedule is much different. I think, honestly, there’s not a team we’re afraid of to play. I think we will be competitive with everyone that we face. If we make plays and [Rivera] pitches and we swing the bat, anything could happen.”

Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or siava@newbritianherald.com

Posted in Newington Town Crier, Newington on Thursday, 5 April 2018 21:20. Updated: Thursday, 5 April 2018 21:23.