Softball: Jonathan Law defeats Foran Lions
It's a rare occurrence when either a Jonathan Law or Foran High softball team overpowers the other in either of their two regular-season meetings each year.
Usually, the games are close, sometimes low-scoring contests where the victor finds a way to scratch out a run or two to insure that they come out on the top side. Yes, Foran did beat Law, 9-4, in their second of two encounters during the 2017 season.
Tuesday afternoon, under some of the more dismal weather conditions this spring, with temperatures not getting out of the 40s and a cold breeze constantly greeting the players, the Lady Lawmen unleashed a batting barrage to the tune of 13 hits, with a collection of them going for extra bases.
When it was over after four-and-a-half innings, Law had a 14-2 positive verdict. It was their third straight victory. They will bring a 5-1 record into a Wednesday afternoon encounter with Sacred Heart Academy.
The loss was Foran's sixth in succession and very uncharacteristic of how they have played in the past. Lions' coach Stephanie Dawid neatly summed it up.
"We came out flat and they came out aggressive, hard and ready to play," Dawid said. "I really think that our skill and talent level is equal to theirs. Obviously, it didn't show today. We needed far more energy than what we generated out there. Those little elements in the game can make a world of difference."
Law coach Melanie Blude had another way of looking at it.
"It was a nice win," she said. "A very easy one on my stomach. That doesn't always happen when we play Foran. These kids are having a great time; they're crushing the ball, and playing great defense. This is, to me, is a very special, special group."
Law has an abundance of contact hitters throughout its lineup, which includes a pair of freshman in starting pitcher Brianna Buccitti and second baseman Madilyn Lula.
Lula not only had a pair of doubles, but she crushed a pitch well over the center field fence an eight-run third inning which turned a 6-0 lead into an runaway 14-0 advantage.
She drove in four runs and was only out-done by the team's junior third baseman Gina Boccamazzo, who had a single, double and home run which accounted for five RBI.
Boccamazzo's line-drive shot to left in the second skimmed over the fence and almost appeared as if it had hit the ground first. Initially she was stopped at second, but after both umpires conferre, it was determined that the ball had indeed cleared it's last obstacle.
Leadoff hitter Cali Jolley had two hits and an RBI, while scoring three runs after reaching base in all four of her at-bats.
"I never imagined that this (such a one-sided win) would happen," Jolley said. "They've always battled us. I knew we could hit as a team because we worked hard all winter on our hitting. This is one of the best teams that I've ever played on."
Through their first six games, the Lady Lawmen are now averaging 11 runs a game.
In between the offensive display, the winners got a steady pitching performance from Buccitti.
She only allowed four hits and kept Foran's hitters off-balance with her control and ability to pitch to spots. She struck out four, allowed one walk and hit a batter.
"Bri gets opposing hitters into situations where they end up not always making good contact," said Blude. "We managed to turn most of them today into either lazy ground-ball outs for lazy fly balls which we could catch. She always seems to keep her defense involved."
The win over Foran came on the heels off an impressive 4-3 victory last Saturday over a good North Haven team. "That was a momentum builder," Blude said. "There are times when I feel that this team can beat anybody. But you have to go out and do it on a regular basis. We beat a good team in North Haven."
Foran's leadoff batter, senior Kalie Mendola, a left-handed slap hitter, had two of her teams' four safeties. Mary Grace Weissauer and the team's designated player Margurete Collette had one hit apiece.
The Lions got a run in the first on Alexis James' sacrifice fly to center, which plated Mendola and Weissauer knocked in the second with her single in the fifth.
Foran will play again on Wednesday when they have their first home game against Guilford. They were forced to play one regularly-scheduled home contest (a loss to North Haven last week) at Law because of poor field conditions. The Lions were then set to meet Mercy at home on Friday and play Career Magnet next Monday.
"Even though we're not winning, our spirits are up," Dawid said. "This is a resilient team. Each player is pulling for every other kid. We need to stick together, build up our confidence and keep working hard."