Softball: Foran defeats Jonathan Law, 5-2, in states

Foran High softball coach Stephanie Dawid didn’t have to look too far down her line-up in the Lions’ CIAC Class L first-round match-up, ironically, with heated rival Jonathan Law, to find a player to be the team’s catalyst on Tuesday.

Junior Amanda Mendillo hits third for the Lions. Her bat (two hits and two runs driven in) along with her savvy play at shortstop were two of the key reasons why Foran, the No. 6 seed, defeated 27th-seeded Law, 5-2, before a crowd sun-drenched spectators at Foran.

Foran, now 16-5, will host No. 11 Rockville, in a second-round game on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Rockville (14-5) advanced with an 8-1 winner over Ledyard.

Foran took a 2-0 lead in the third and made it 4-0 in the fifth.

Law brought two runs around to score in the top of the sixth to halve the deficit.

Foran added another run in the home sixth.

Mendillo has been a starter for three seasons, all at shortstop. With her graduated sister, Ashley, Amanda  played in back-to-back state tournaments in 2014 and 2015.

“Amanda always brings great energy to our team,”Dawid said. “She’s productive as well.”

Mendillo got an infield single in the first.

In the third, her hit to the left side of the infield wound up in short left field. Foran scored a pair of runs on the play.

Mendillo’s opposite-field triple to the fence in right in the sixth was part of another two-run Foran inning. It chased home Caitlyn Parisi, before Mendillo scored on Hannah DeSousa’s perfectly-placed suicide squeeze.

The Lions were aggressive on the bases all game long. They scored their fifth and final run in the sixth on a double steal. With Natalia Hart on first and Kalie Mendola on third, When Hart broke for second, the throw from Law catcher Skyler Bender went through and Mendillo raced home.

“More than anything I wanted to see us win today for the seniors,” Mendillo said. “They mean the world to me. It made me happy that I could do something for them.”Admittedly a pull hitter, Mendillo was slightly amazed when she hit her triple to right.

Law, which split with Foran this year losing the first game 8-2 before coming back to win 7-6 at home, made the game interesting in the sixth.

Makenna Prete got the first batter, Cali Jolley on a ground ball third to first, but she then hit Maddie Murphy with a pitch. Bender followed with a line single to left and both runners moved up a base on a passed ball. Prete induced Gina Boccamazzo into a pop out, which was caught by Foran third baseman Brittany Baker.

Kacy O’Connor then hit her first offering into right field, scoring both Murphy and Bender. Erin Saley then kept the rally going with another single, but Prete got the third out on strikes to leave two runners on base.

Law left a runner on in each of the first three innings and stranded seven in the game.

“It made a difference,” said Law coach Melanie Blude. “We set things up to score in the first three innings and didn’t come through. After that it was their timely hits and aggression on the bases which won this game for them. We hit the ball hard all game long. We simply couldn’t put much together.”