Softball’s comeback boosts confidence

Mackenzie Alvarado stares down a batter during a comeback win on opening day. The Plainville pitcher also sparked the comeback with a two-run homerun.

By KEN MORSE

CORRESPONDENT

It’s often said that it’s not how you start; it’s how you finish. For the Plainville softball team, it had everything to do with how they started the season during a come-from-behind, 13-8 victory on Monday, April 1.

Innovation set the tone for the Blue Devils. The Ravens held a 4-3 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth inning before Plainville kicked into gear.

Mackenzie Alvarado ignited the comeback unloading a two-run homer over the left field fence to put the Blue Devils on top, 5-4. Plainville was just getting started and by the time the final out was in the book the Blue Devils had erupted for six runs to build a 9-4 advantage.

Innovation battled back and strung together a four run uprising in the sixth inning to close the gap at 9-8. Plainville put up a four spot of its own in the bottom of the frame to go up, 13-8.

Starting pitcher Kayla Wisz kicked the door closed with a scoreless seventh inning completing the eight hitter striking out nine and walking three. Alvarado went 3-for-3 at the plate, scoring three runs and driving in three more.

Kaylee Lamothe had a hit and three runs scored, Annie Roux added a double and freshman Samantha Thompson in her first varsity game went 3-for-4 with two runs and a pair of RBI.

“We got a little fight in us,” said Plainville head coach Scott Marcucio. “We talked about keeping our heads up no matter what the score is. We need to stay focused on ourselves and play the best we possibly can.”

Plainville concluded the first week of the season with a couple of tough losses against Bristol Eastern and Bristol Central. That did little to stifle the confidence gained by the comeback win over the Ravens.

There are going to be teams that you just don’t match up well with, and that was the case against the two Bristol squads. Plainville dropped a 23-3 final last Wednesday facing off against a Bristol Eastern team that was led by two-time all-state pitcher Erin Girard. The Lancers have put up 40 runs on 40 hits this season.

“If we can stay focused on what we have control over and that is how we are playing,” said Marcucio. “And less about who we are playing I think we will be able to get through the rough spots. That will be the key to our season. No matter what the situation is stay positive and keep our heads up and good things will happen.”

The Blue Devils showed they still had some fight left plating three runs in their final at bat. Alvarado and Lamothe had hits and Aliana Shover had an RBI hit. Roux sent one out of the yard for a two run homer with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.

Plainville showed enough offense (10 hits, 7 runs) against Bristol Central on Thursday but couldn’t overcome two three-run homers by Gwen Torreso in a 16-7 setback to the Rams.

The Blue Devils held a 3-0 lead when Torreso belted a three run homer to tie the game in the third inning. Plainville went back on top 4-3 with a run in the top of the fourth but the Rams erupted for a six run rally in the bottom of the frame.

Bristol Central ahead 9-4 plated seven runs in their final at bat to put the game away. Plainville was led at the plate by Roux with her second home run of the season going 2 for 3 with a triple and a homer two runs scored and three RBI.

Alvarado had two hits including a double with one run scored and one RBI. Thompson had two hits including a double and Kaycee Newberry added two hits and a run scored.

“We could have pushed the lead a little more in the beginning if we were able to execute a little better,” said Marcucio. “But we are driving the ball better and running the bases better. It’s all about getting better each day.”

“I think in two of the games we’ve played we have responded well to adversity putting runs on the board. Mackenzie (Alvarado) got a big home run for us against Innovation and turned that game around for us.”

“Annie (Roux) has such a good swing and is the perfect example of bat speed through the zone. She is hitting the ball real well for us. Samantha (Thompson) may be a freshman but she has been playing sports long enough she has a lot of confidence in her abilities and its showing.”

Plainville will look to get back in the win column this week taking on MLC on Monday, Hartford Public on Wednesday and will finish out the week at home on Thursday against Innovation.