WEST HAVEN -- It's as if these teams didn't have enough history between them. But Saturday night at West Haven High School, a 15-inning game won 1-0 by No. 1 Southington over No. 7 Amity (20-4) was added to that history book.
The sole run came off senior Rachel Dube's bat in the bottom of the 15th. Dube homered over the left-field fence, giving Southington its second Class LL title in a row.
Southington (24-0) had to fight for its hits, though, managing only six off Amity's young gun, Katie Koshes. She struck out 21 batters over the course of 15 innings, and head coach Loren Purcell said she thought Koshes could have pitched more innings if she had to.
"She pitched absolutely fantastic," Purcell said. "She actually got stronger in the later innings. She really pitched a fantastic game -- actually two games."
While on the other side, Purcell said she though Southington pitcher Kendra Friedt was starting to get tired.
"She didn't have as many strikeouts after the eighth inning," Purcell said. "She just wasn't hanging together like Kaite was holding tight."
Despite Amity's eight hits off Friedt, Purcell said it was the base-running errors that prevented the Spartans from scoring any runs.
"They were very surprising base-running errors because they were all from upperclassmen," Purcell said. "We had many opportunities to change this game early on and we kind of let them slide. We almost gave them the game early on but they hung in, the girls played well."
Softball is a mental game, but Purcell said it becomes extremely mental when you're playing extras.
"If they pull away from the game at all or if they get distracted, naturally what's going to happen is they're going to fall apart," Purcell said. "We didn't fall apart. It was one pitch."
Dube said she didn't think her home run was going to go over the fence.
"I was kind of just rounding the base and hoping for the best," Dube said. "I thought it hit the fence. Everyone was crowding home plate and I didn't realize it. It's still shocking to me. All I know is my fist was pumping up in the air ... it was a great feeling."
Dube managed to get what she said was a lucky hit off Koshes, but she also said that she and the rest of the team had a tough time hitting off her because she was a lefty.
"You don't see a lot of lefties," Dube said. "So when you see them, you're so confused. She confused me and I was right on the ball the whole time, but I got lucky."
It's the second straight state title for Southington and the first for first-year head coach Davina Hernandez.
Hernandez said she couldn't ask anything more from her team. She said she noticed Freidt was missing a lot in the beginning of the game.
"The ball was supposed to go out, it went in, they got a hit," Hernandez said. "The ball was supposed to go in, it went out, they got a hit. She knew that she was missing and that she had to get better."
And she did, as Friedt went on to strike out 16 Spartans.
Amity 000 000 000 000 000 -- 0 8 0
Southington 000 000 000 000 001--1 6 2
Batteries: S -- Kendra Friedt (W) and Rachel Dube; A--Katie Koshes (L) and Janaya Young.