Softball hitter's duel revisited

Amanda Leone singled home Cassidy Boath in the bottom of the seventh inning to give host Jonathan Law an 11-10 victory over Foran High in a non-league softball game on April 11.

“From the beginning I knew it was going to be an intense game,” said Leone, who saw Law’s 9-0 first-inning lead turn into a 10-10 tie when the Lions scored three runs in the top of the seventh.

“I knew we wouldn’t let the bombs (home runs by Dani Kemp and Kayla Gosselin) or errors (three) get in our heads. I just wanted to help my girls get this win.”

Erin Saley hit a two-run home run and Skyler Bender slammed a three-run shot to key Law’s nine-run first inning uprising.
Justine Bannon and Leone added two-run doubles.

In all, Law had eight hits in the frame with Gege Romero (two), Maddie Murphy (RBI) and Jess Migliozzi stroking singles. Leone, Meg Smith and Boath drew walks.

Foran began clawing its way back with a run in the third, as Hannah DeSousa’s sacrifice fly scored Amanda Mendillo, who had doubled.

Kemp’s three-run blast came in the fifth and scored Amanda Portoff and DeSousa, who had singled.

The Lions weren’t done in the inning, as Alex Ives and Ashley Mendillo singled before Gosselin doubled to right field to bring the score to 9-7.

Law got a run back when Romero singled and scored on Murphy’s two-out hit to center in the bottom of the fifth.

Foran left the bases loaded in the sixth, but made full use of its seventh-inning at bat.

Gosselin led off with a home run to make it 10-8. Jenna Zacarelli and Amanda Mendillo reset the rally with hits.

After a force out at third, Natalia Hart singled to load the bases for DeSousa, who singled to left to plate a pair of runs.
Kemp’s sacrifice fly to center tied the game.

Boath singled with one out in the bottom of the seventh, Romero reached on Foran’s only error of the game, and after Saley was hit by a pitch, Leone singled through the hole into left field to deliver the game-winner.

Law finished with 15 hits and Foran had 16.

“This was an exciting game to be a part of,” Law head coach Melanie Paolini said. “It’s better than a 2-1 pitcher’s duel; everyone gets involved.

“Hitting was contagious. We (the players) were hanging on the fence waiting to get our turn at bat.”

Foran right-hander Ashley Mendillo allowed only two runs after the first inning.

“That’s why I didn’t use a trip (to the pitching circle) in that first inning, I knew we’d come back,” Foran head coach Jeff Bevino said.

“It’s life. We’re going to hit no doubt. Their pitcher (Aubrey Bepko) did a good job with the off-speed stuff. We didn’t adjust.

“I’m proud of our girl. We hit the ball. Hats off to Law. It was a good win for them.”

With two outs in the bottom of the third, Law loaded the bases on singles by Romero and Saley and a walk to Leone.

Maggie Sullivan came on to pinch run at second base, but Ashley Mendillo got Murphy to ground into the hole, where Kemp tossed to Zacarelli at third to get the force out.

Bannon led off the Law fourth with a single and stole second base with two outs.

Zacarelli threw out Bender from third base and Kemp’s fine play on Smith’s ground ball stranded Bannon.

Ashley Mendillo set Law down in order in the sixth inning, when she recorded her fifth strike out.

In Foran’s sixth-inning threat, Hart singled with one out. Boath then took some steam out of the rally when she smothered DeSousa’s grounder and dove on the second base bag to get the force out.

Kemp drew her team’s only walk and Ives reached on an infield hit before Bepko’s second strikeout was good for the third out.

Foran defeated East Haven, 12-6, in its opener.
The Lions visit North Haven Monday (4 p.m.) and Hillhouse-New Haven on Wednesday (3:45).

Law plays host to Guilford Wednesday at 4.