Softball: Blue Devils still battling for tourney berth

The Blue Devils celebrate first baseman Mackenzie Alvarado as she crosses the plate after hitting a home run off of the scoreboard against Bristol Central.

By KEN MORSE

CORRESPONDENT

The Plainville softball team took another step closer to qualifying for the state tournament for the first time since 2014 with a 17-0 win over Bulkeley on Friday May 10. That improved the Blue Devils to 7-8 on the season needing one more win to make the Class M state tournament.

Mackenzie Alvarado spun a one-hitter striking out five in the win over Bulkeley. Plainville held a 4-0 advantage before putting the game away erupting for 13 runs in the fourth inning. Alvarado slugged a home run to lead the Blue Devils attack at the plate.

Kayla Wisz 3 for 4 with three runs scored belted a double and a triple to drive in a run. Kaycee Newberry 3 for 4 with three runs scored added a triple. Makayla Caron and Kaylee Lamothe pounded out doubles with Shai-yonna Durham going 2 for 3 with two runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base to pace the offense.

Three times in the last seven games Plainville was knocking at the door but came up just short. A 4-3 loss to New Britain was followed by a tough, 3-1 setback to Platt. Last Tuesday the Blue Devils were upended 2-0 by (13-5) Enfield.

Anyone of those games could have ended up in the win column to reach the goal for Plainville. Last Thursday the Blue Devils saw another game slip through their fingers in a heart breaking 9-8 loss to Bristol Central.

“I have to give this team credit. They are staying focused and working hard to improve on the things we need to get better at,” said Plainville head coach Scott Marcucio. “It’s tough to lose these close games but they never give up and never get down. They just come out the next day and are ready to go and work hard to try and get the next one.”

Plainville has been showing themselves to be a much improved team than when they first started the season. The Blue Devils had lost the third game of the season to Bristol Central by a 16-6 margin but this was a much different game this time around.

Alvarado got a hold of one in the first inning launching a no-doubt-about-that-one sending a home run over the right center field fence that slammed into the scoreboard with authority.

The Rams plated three runs in the top of the second to take over the lead. An error on a dropped pop up and a single that fell in between a couple of fielders set the table.

A bunt single chased home a run and a walk loaded the bases with two outs. A ground ball in the infield went through the wickets to score two more runs to put the Rams on top 3-1.

Plainville wasted no time in wrestling the lead back in the bottom of the frame. Makayla Caron raced all the way to third base on a throwing error and scored on a ground out from Samantha Thompson.

Aliana Shover and Durham reached on infield singles and a run scored when Annie Roux singled to right field. Wisz drove in a run on a single to left and Alvarado hit into a fielder’s choice to make it a 5-3 Plainville lead.

The Rams had a runner at third base two innings in a row only to have pitcher Kayla Wisz slam the door shut stranding the runner.

Durham scored an insurance run in the fourth working out a walk after getting down 0-2 in the count and then stole second base. Wisz hit a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Blue Devils a 6-3 lead before things started to come unraveled.

An error and a single started the fifth for Bristol Central and Youssa Bartell unloaded a two run double to close the gap at 6-5. Wisz walked the bases loaded in the sixth and a run scored on a passed ball and the second run scored on a sacrifice fly to put the Rams ahead 7-6.

An error on a groundout started the Rams seventh. Emily Erickson and Gianna Annelli followed with solid base hits to the outfield to give Bristol Central a 9-6 advantage.

The Blue Devils were not finished as they came to bat in the bottom of the seventh. Wisz started it with a single, Alvarado drew a walk and Makayla Caron singled to center to load the bases with no outs.

Grace DiMinno drove in a run on a groundout with Makenzie Caron and Thompson hitting back-to-back singles to close the gap at 9-8. Bristol Central managed to get the final out in the books stranding the tying and winning runs on base.

Plainville has two more regular season games to reach their goal of one more win to qualify for the state tournament but they came after the Observer goes to press. The Blue Devils host Berlin on Monday and will be at Wethersfield on Tuesday.

Stay tuned to the Observer to more softball coverage of the season finale.