Softball: Amity stays hot, marches past North Haven

WOODBRIDGE — Amity junior Elizabeth Brownfield lives in the moment. That thought process went a long way Thursday afternoon, keeping the Amity softball team on a roll.

Brownfield, who had grounded out earlier in the game, laced a two-out, two-run double in the fourth inning to propel Amity to its eighth win in nine games with a 3-1 victory over North Haven.

“I had grounded out earlier in the game and I was not thinking about that,” Brownfield said. “I tried to stay loose and be ready to hit. This is a pretty big game for us. This reaffirms how we feel going into the SCC’s. It helps when you beat a team like that.”

Brownfield’s clutch hit was all starting pitcher Grace Whitman needed as the senior went the distance. She allowed one run on five hits, struck out three and walked one.

“I thought she (Whitman) was amazing,” Amity coach Sara Hale said. “She was really on today. She did a really good job. She was in control.”

North Haven (15-4) had runners on base in two of the first three innings, but could not capitalize. Whitman retired the side on four pitches in the fourth, before the Indians scored their only run in the fifth.

Eryn Sheeley led off the fifth with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice, and scored on Haylee Garthwait’s two-out single to right. The inning could have been bigger for the Indians, but a grounder in the hole by Peyton Davis was snared by Amity shortstop Nicole Koshes, who fired to third for the force to end the threat.

“That was a key play right there,” North Haven interim coach Karen Castagnola said of Koshes. “We had a rally going. She killed it. They are a good defensive team. They are a good team. We just didn’t get the big hit today.”

Sheeley then led off the seventh with a single to left, but Whitman retired the next three batters in order to end the game and snap North Haven’s nine-game winning streak.

“We are 15-4,” Castagnola said. “It’s been a good run and we hope to continue that. Our defense was good today and Lauren (Card) was spot on. We just didn’t hit.”

After two solid defensive plays by North Haven’s Carly Brown kept Amity off the scoreboard early on, the Spartans, ranked eighth in the GameTimeCT Top 10 poll, took a 1-0 led in the third.

With two outs, Dani Nordyk doubled to right and Carly Marchitto followed with a single to right to score Nordyk for a 1-0 lead.

Amity (16-3) gave Whitman some cushion in the fourth with two runs off North Haven pitcher Lauren Card. Rachael Crow started the rally with a one-out single to left, Leia Foyer reached on an infield single, and both scored on Brownfield’s double.

“That was a huge hit,” Hale said of Brownfield. “We have so much confidence in the whole lineup, one through nine. Our third hitter gets a base hit for our first run and our ninth hitter gets in two runs with a hit. We have talked about that all season long”

Card was solid in the circle for the Indians, going the distance and allowing three runs on six hits, while walking three and striking out four.