Softball: Jonathan Law defeats Foran High, 10-4
Notching your first win of the season is always a wonderful experience. Doing it against your rival makes it even sweeter.
Jonathan Law up a pair of first-inning runs to cross-city Foran. After that, it was all Law as it rolled to a 10-4 win in Devon on Wednesday.
The Lady Lawmen collected 12 hits, four by sophomore Maddie Lula, who had five RBIs.
Senior shortstop Cali Jolley collected her 100th career base hit.
The game was under constant attack by strong winds that wrecked havoc at times with fly balls.
Jolley's bloop single to right in the third, after she walked in her first at-bat in the opening inning, pushed her to the milestone. She is now just 28 hits behind Melissa Nelson, the current record-holder with 129.
"It was nice to get the hit, especially against our rival," Jolley said. "Right now, the record really isn't on my mind. My job is to do whatever I can to help our team win. If it means bunting to move a runner over, that's fine."
Foran took the lead after lead-off hitter Jessica Sanders reached on an error.
Mary Grace Weissauer sacrificed her to second and she came into score on a throwing error on the play as she advanced to third.
Foran freshman Kendall LaMorte kept the inning going with a double to deep center before Marguerite Collette singled. With runners at first and third, the Lions ran a double steal. While Collette raced for second, LaMorte came in to score.
After a strikeout, Mia Tonucci lined a single up the middle to keep the inning alive. Alexa Mendillo worked the count full, before Law pitcher Brianna Buccitti got her to fly out to Liz Hayden in left for the third out.
"They definitely crushed the ball in the first inning," Law coach Melanie Blude said. "It wasn't so much that we made mistakes. They just hit the ball."
The Lady Lawmen put up two runs of their own in the first on Lula’s two-run single.
Jolley walked before freshman Grace Kantor ripped a line single to left with Jolley going to third. While Gina Boccamazzo was at bat, Kantor stole second. Boccamazzo eventually popped up to Foran pitcher Makenna Prete for the first out. Lula stepped in and laced a single to right, chasing both Jolley and Kantor home.
Prete tightened up her game getting a pair of swinging strike outs to prevent further damage.
But Law came right back and scored three runs in the second and basically put the game out of reach with four in the fourth for a 9-3 lead.
"In the preseason and even into our first game (a 2-1 loss to Danbury), we weren't hitting the ball," Blude said. "It wasn't what I knew we were capable of. So, coming out today, I was obviously nervous. Then I threw batting practice and our kids were hitting the ball. Away went the nerves."
It took Buccitti a pair of innings to settle in on the mound. Once she did, she retired 11 batters during one stretch, finishing with five strikeouts, one walk and allowing eight hits.
"She keeps her cool out there," Blude said about Buccitti, a sophomore who started last year as a freshman. "She finds a way to get outs. Even if she has runners on base, she keeps her composure and looks for outs."
The game was the second for Foran (the Lions beat Harding on Saturday) under first-year coach Julie Johnson, a veteran volleyball coach at the school.
"I saw a lot of good things from my team today," Johnson said. "I don't think that the score really showed how competitive of a game it was. We had a good first inning. It's nice to see your kids start that way, especially against your rival. They came right out and hit."
Johnson was also able to use two of her three pitchers. Sanders replaced Prete in the fourth and finished with four strikeouts.
Not only did Lula have a great day at the plate, she made the game's best defensive play in the sixth.
After Mendillo had singled, Kailey Loewenberg hit a sharp, one hopper to Lula's left at second base. She knocked the ball down, retrieved it and flipped to Jolley at the bag for a force out on Mendillo.
"I'm still not sure how I did that," said Lulu, a three-sport athlete (volleyball and basketball). "Cali made a great play at second to get the out. This was definitely my best game as a softball player at Law."
Sanders, LaMorte and Collette had six (two each) of Foran's eight hits.
Boccamazzo and Ally Stein had two hits each for Law.
The Lady Lawmen will meet Platt Tech Thursday, while Foran swings back into play on Friday against Branford.