St. Joseph softball tops Greenwich for fourth straight
Published 11:27 pm, Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Failing to execute the fundamentals cost the St. Joseph softball team dearly in early-season, one-run losses to Newtown and Ludlowe.
Wednesday, the Cadets got a first-hand view of what happens when they execute to perfection at the plate and in the field -- and what happens when the opposition does not.
Jenn Vazquez belted two home runs in consecutive innings as St. Joseph took full advantage of five Greenwich errors, claiming a 14-2, six-inning road victory over the Cardinals that extended its winning streak to four games.
"We've started out a little bit slow this year," St. Joseph coach Jeff Babineau said. "We've been hitting the ball but now they are starting to find the hole they should. It's good for the kids: they have worked hard all winter and now it's starting to show."
Things quickly unraveled in the top of the fourth inning for the Cardinals, who entered the frame holding a 1-0 lead. After pitcher Alison Kach got two quick outs, the Cadets went to work, getting an RBI single from Lauren Blose to tie the game. Lauren Pitney then hit a fly ball with runners on the corners that hopped through the glove of the Cardinals' right fielder and a throwing error on the cutoff attempt allowed Pitney to score.
Two batters later, Vazquez hit a two-run shot over the centerfield fence.
"Each game you see good pitching and it takes a couple of innings to figure them out," Babineau said. "We just had to be patient; Alison (Kach) is a good pitcher and we found a way to make her work today."
The Cadets put the game away in the top of the fifth inning under very similar circumstances. The Cardinals committed a pair of errors -- including another dropped popup -- prolonging a frame that should have resulted in just a single run scored. All that did was allow Vazquez to bat with a runner on base -- with the same result as the previous inning.
"St. Joe's is a very good hitting team, we are not used to making so many mistakes and I think that's what gets us down," Greenwich captain Ebba Mark said. "Once you make a mistake you don't think you can believe in yourself. You get nervous after something like that and I think that's what got us."
St. Joseph starting pitcher Nicole Williams was in cruise control in the circle. The freshman struck out nine, allowing just two hits and two walks in six innings.
"(Williams) did extremely well today, she kept runners off base and when she got a few on base she was able to minimize what they wanted to do," Vazquez said. "She kept her cool and got them to hit the ball on the ground and let the defense make plays."
Rebecca DeCarlo led off the first inning with a home run for Greenwich, which lost for the second time in three games. The Cardinals entered the game swinging the bats very well (72 runs in seven games to start the year), but the defensive effort took the wind of their sails.
"We definitely know we need to improve, we have a good team that can go very far," Mark said.
"We're going to work extremely hard in practice tomorrow and we're looking forward to Wilton (Friday) to get us going again."
ST. JOSEPH 14,
GREENWICH 2 (six innings)
ST. JOSEPH 000 662 X--14 12 0
GREENWICH 100 001 X--2 2 5
Records: St. Joseph 6-2, 5-1 FCIAC; Greenwich 5-3, 4-2