Saturday, June 9, 2012


(First appeared in Southington, Orange and BethWood Patch)

STRATFORD – Anxiety took its toll.
Both Southington and Amity displayed some jitters as the Class LL softball championship unfolded.
A plethora of walks, defensive mistakes and substandard pitching marred play on both sides, but one team was able to regain its poise.
Leadoff hitter C.J. Semones earned MVP honors by rapping four hits and scoring three runs Friday night as the No. 6 Spartans rumbled to a 10-6 win over top-seeded Southington at DeLuca Field in a title game between the two schools that have been there the most.
Amity (23-5) was crowned champion for the fifth time. Southington (22-3), which has won a state-record 14 championships, is now 3-3 against the Spartans in ‘LL’ title tilts. The two schools combined have appeared in 29 of the 39 championship games.
The Spartans last won a state title in 2003 when they recorded a 3-0 win over the Knights.
Amity, champions of the Southern Connecticut Conference’s Housatonic Division, pounded out 17 hits. The Blue Knights, perennial kingpins in the CCC, punched out seven hits and made four errors.
“I’ve been with these girls for four years, we know each other so well and senior year it just all came together,” Semones said. “It’s an amazing feeling.”
Bores was humbled by his team’s poor play.
“You’re not going to beat a Little League team giving up 10 runs,” he said, after an extended postgame meeting with his girls. “And I think the four errors were very generous. I counted about seven or eight.
“We played [badly]. We couldn’t have played worse.”
Semones started the game with a dribbler in front of the plate for a single. Emily Fox’s sacrifice bunt was thrown away by third baseman Alyssa Dumphy and Jacqueline Ferraiolo (3-for-5, double, HR, 4 RBI) made it sting by cracking a three-run homer over the fence in left.
Staked to a three-run lead, Amity hurler Dana Blydenberg promptly walked Nicole Rossitto and Sarah Carangelo. The pair pulled off a double steal and scored when Sydney Ferrante (3-for-4, 3 RBI) drilled a single under the glove of shortstop Heather Watt and into center field.
“We got a little nervous but I knew our team was going to make the plays in the end,” Semones said.
The pitchers and the defenses settled in. Amity padded its lead with a run in the fourth, an inning that saw Bores replace his junior starter Jordyn Moquin with freshman Kendra Freidt after Semones’ leadoff double.
“I knew it wasn’t her night when she gave up [eight] hits over [three-plus] innings,” Bores said.
Emily Fox collected the RBI with a single.
The Knights were still in the game, but unlike Amity, they couldn’t chase away the butterflies.
“I kept trying to keep them loose,” Amity coach Bob Purcell said. “I kept being very light and not coaching too much. The coaching’s all done. Now it’s just keeping the girls’ tempers down and their attitude good. That’s what I tried to do for the whole game.”
The fifth inning proved Southington’s undoing. Amity used well-placed bunts and doubles by Semones, Ferraiolo and Jenna DiLorenzo to pile up five runs.
“The ump was very selective with his zone so we just waited for our pitch,” Semones said, about hitting Moquin like she hadn’t been hit before.
Two Southington errors contributed to the merry-go-round.
‘I don’t know if they were nervous,” Bores said. “We haven’t given up 17 hits in two weeks, in five or six games. …
“It’s embarrassing. I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life as a softball coach. I’m embarrassed for them. That’s not a showing of how they played all season.”
With Amity leading 10-3 in the bottom of the seventh, the Blue Knights showed that they weren’t going down without a fight. Hits by Ferrante and Moquin led to three runs but too much damage had been done.
“It was over,” Bores said. “You could tell by my body language that I just wanted to go home.”
Moquin, who re-entered the game as a pinch-hitter and returned to the mound in relief of Friedt, allowed 11 hits, waqlked one and struck out three in five full innings of work. Blydenburg went the distance, yielding four earned runs on seven hits, walked six and fanned just one.

Class LL Softball Championship
At DeLuca Field, Stratford

Amity 10, Southington 6

Amity                                       Southington
                           ab  r  h  bi                               ab  r  h  bi
Semones 1b        5  3  4  1       Rossitto 2b        1  2  0  0
Fox lf                  4  2  2  0       Carangelo rf       3  2  1  1
Ferraiolo rf          5  2  3  4       Ferrante ss         4  0  3  3
DiLorenzo dp 5  0  2  2            Harvey c            4  1  0  1
Watt ss               0  0  0  0       Moquin p           4  0  1  0
Zdrowski cf         5  0  1  0       Friedt p              0  0  0  0
Luce c                 4  0  0  0       Dumphy 3b        2  0  0  1
Blydenburg p       2  1  0  0       Paterson 1b       3  0  0  0
Baker 2b             4  1  3  0       Zazzaro cf          3  0  0  0
Reynolds 3b        3  1  2  1       Downes lf          3  1  2  0
Shepa ph             1  0  0  0      
Totals               38 10 17  8      Totals                27  6  7  6

Amity                      300 150 1 – 10  17  1
Southington              200 010 3 –   6    7  4

E – Baker, Dumphy, Ferrante, Rossitto, Harvey.
LOB – Amity 11, Southington 7. DP – Amity 1.
2B – Semones 2, Ferraiolo, DiLorenzo. HR – Ferraiolo.
S – Fox.  SF – Dumphy. SB – Carangelo, Rossitto.

                            ip    h  r  er  bb  so
Blydenburg W      7     7   6   4   6   1


Moquin L             5   11   5   4   1   3
Friedt                   2     6   5   5   1   2

Moquin faced 1 batter in 4th.

WP – Blydenburg. T – 1:57. A – 1,000 (est.) . Records – Amity 23-5; Southington 22-3.

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