PHS softball team finding its groove

By KEN MORSE

CORRESPONDENT

The Plainville girls softball team is growing by leaps and bounds. The Blue Devils put together back-to-back victories for the first time in three seasons earning a 15-5 win over Hall on Thursday, April 5 and last Wednesday won a convincing matchup with Hartford Public by a 23-4 count.

“We got the first game jitters out of the way and we are playing more relaxed and with confidence,” said Plainville head coach Scott Marcucio. “I’ll take a 2-1 start any year. It’s a real good start for us, especially with such a young team.”

Freshman Kayla Wisz threw a complete game five-hitter for her first varsity win and belted three hits driving in four runs. Plainville was clinging to a 3-2 lead when they erupted for seven runs in the third inning to pull away from Hall.

Makayla Caron unloaded a triple adding three hits and four runs to pace the Blue Devils attack. Brooke Morgan had two hits and two stolen bases and Mackenzie Alvarado added two RBI.

Plainville ran into a tough Hartford Public team that took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning last Wednesday. Alvarado surrendered two hits and a walk with an error aiding the Hartford uprising.

The Blue Devils managed to plate two runs to close the gap when Makayla Caron and Alvarado scored on a bases loaded walk to Brooke Morgan and a fielder’s choice by Mikayla Doucette.

An error and a second double from Alezei Collado gave Hartford a 4-2 lead in the second before Alvarado struck out the side. Hartford would only get one more hit the rest of the game as Alvarado went on to strikeout nine scattering five hits.

Plainville put the game away in part by a few timely hits, some aggressive base running, and a bit of a pitching problem by Hartford in the bottom of the second. Grace DiMinno took a drive to the fence in center for a stand up double to lead it off. Victoria Corriveau hit an infield single putting runners at the corner.

A wild throw into the outfield on a stolen base attempt had both runners scoring on the play to tie the game at 4-4. Six walks and a hit batter filled the bases with runners with Morgan and Makayla Caron driving in runs.

Fifteen batters in all came to bat before Hartford could close the door on the rally. Kaylee Lamothe finished the scoring with a two run single to left. The Blue Devils hung a 10 spot on the board to open up a 12-4 lead.

“We have been working on some things in practice that I’m starting to see showing up in games,” said Marcucio. “That tells me that we are making progress. We wanted to be more aggressive on the base paths and we did that today.”

Alvarado was a different pitcher throwing with the lead challenging hitters as she struck out the side in the third. Kaycee Newberry was getting it done in the field taking two throws down at third base putting the tag on failed stolen base attempts and fielding a bunt for an out and hauling in a foul pop up.

“Kaycee is really solid for us at third base,” said Marcucio. “We have talked about building some consistency through high energy and a strong effort every time we get out there and we are starting to see that.”

The Blue Devils were not done swinging the bats as they added five runs in the third and six more in the fourth as the entire team had a hand in the final outcome. Doucette and Makenzie Caron got it going in the third inning scoring runs and Alyssa Roy finished the five run outburst with an RBI.

Holding a 17-4 lead Plainville pushed across another six runs in the fourth to invoke the mercy rule. Caitlin Bradley, Shai Durham, and Kori Jones drove in runs with Phoebe Gediman completing the scoring with an RBI single. Kaylie Hall was the final batter in the inning with the Blue Devils out in front by a 23-4 margin.

Hartford put a few runners on base in the fifth on a pair of hits. But Alvarado turned it up a notch striking out the final two batters for the win.

On Saturday the Plainville bats were stymied by Bristol Central pitcher McKenzie Lewis as the Blue Devils managed just four hits in an 11-2 loss. Annie Roux and Makayla Caron reached base twice for Plainville and Alvarado went the distance striking out six.

“We are making contact,” said Marcucio. “But still not driving the ball the way I would like to.”

The 2-2 Blue Devils will look to get back in the win column this week facing Innovation on Monday and Maloney on Wednesday. Next week will see Plainville complete a six game home stand as they take on East Hartford on Monday and Avon on Wednesday.