Wethersfield sophomore Kyla Brogan pitches during a game at Glastonbury High School on May 16.
Wethersfield softball battled powerhouse Glastonbury to a scoreless tie for the first two innings before the Guardians scored twice in the third inning and pulled away for an 8-0 win at Glastonbury High School on May 16.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Eagles, who were fresh off a week in which they played five games in five days.
Head coach Colleen Budaj said she liked how her team battled until the end, despite being short on fumes and without many practices since the beginning of May.
“They don’t quit and they don’t give up. We just gave up some extra bases at some tough times today” added Budaj. “[Glastonbury has] good pitching. We just didn’t put the ball in play as much as we needed to today to put extra pressure on them.”
The Eagles lineup struggled against Glastonbury pitcher Brooke Tracy, who pitched a complete game shutout, striking out 17 and allowing only one hit.
Gabriella Tomaino picked up the only hit for the Eagles in the 7th. Tomaino also showcased her defensive abilities at third base when she plucked a hard line drive down the third base line for an out in the fifth inning.
Sophomore pitcher Kyla Brogan got the nod for Wethersfield, pitching two scoreless innings before Glastonbury’s Sadie Scurto singled with two outs in the third inning, driving home Rayah Snyder and Tracy.
After allowing two more runs, Brogan was relieved prior to the fifth inning by senior Mackenzi Banet, who pitched the final two innings and allowed four more runs. The duo combined for six strikeouts.
“I thought we came out strong and our pitching was sharp, and then I thought we lost some steam pitching. That’s where we got ourselves out of the game,” added Budaj.
Brogan and Banet are part of a deep pitching rotation, featuring five pitchers.
Banet is also one of only three seniors on Budaj’s roster. Molly Bowers and Claire Sipes are the other two.
Sipes made the defensive gem of the night when she made a diving catch in right field to end the 6th inning, preventing additional runs.
Bowers also made a pair of running catches in center field to prevent hits.
The trio has been starting since they were freshmen and Budaj said they not only have been contributors on the field, but also were instrumental in helping the team stay connected throughout the COVID-cancellation in 2020 and the ensuing restrictions.
“[The seniors] dragged us through all the craziness. They have been the heart and soul,” added Budaj. “We looked for them to lead the younger kids through their words and their actions.”
Following the loss to Glastonbury, the Eagles rebounded with an 11-1 victory over Farmington last Wednesday before celebrating the three seniors on Senior Night in the team’s regular-season finale on Thursday.
Entering the week, Wethersfield is 12-7 with the postseason tournaments starting soon.
Budaj said the key to success in the state tournament will be the team’s deep pitching rotation that allows them to “change up speed and change up delivery”, along with consistency in making the routine plays and putting the ball in play.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin