Staples softball routed by Danbury
Published 8:36 pm, Monday, May 11, 2015
A five-game losing streak threatened to derail a once promising season for the Danbury softball team.
Not only have the Hatters regrouped since, but an offensive explosion has resulted in renewed hopes the Hatters have of qualifying for the FCIAC playoffs for a fourth time in five years.
The bats came alive again on Monday with a seven-run fifth inning, capped by a grand slam from sophomore Hanna Bogues in a 10-1 win over Staples at Wakeman Field. The win was the fifth straight for Danbury (10-5), which has scored 55 runs during the streak.
"Obviously the home run was huge," Danbury coach Shawn O'Brien said. "That was the biggest hit of the year for Hanna and to get four runs on one swing in softball is a lot."
The hit came with two outs and the Hatters leading 5-0. With three runners across in the inning already, Bogues crushed one over the right field fence.
"I think we adjusted more," O'Brien said. "(Staples starting pitcher Gillian) Birk had us off balance early; she was able to get several of our better hitters out, but other people stepped up."
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In addition to the No. 8 hitter Bogues, No. 7 hitter Hailey Kern came through for the Hatters. He delivered a two-run single in the second inning to give her team an early lead, and had an RBI single during the big inning as part of a 3-for-4 day.
Danbury junior Melissa Jakubowski threw a complete game in the win, recording nine strikeouts and allowing four hits. Jakubowski had shouldered more of the pitching burden due to an injury to starter Joclyn Perez and has improved each game, according to O'Brien.
"(Jakubowski's) had to pitch the last four games and she's getting better and better each game," O'Brien said. "Last game she was fantastic and she came back today and came within pitches of shutting them out."
O'Brien wasn't the only coach on the field familiar with Jakubowski's work. Wreckers coach Charlie Judge has worked with her for the past three years on her mechanics in the offseason.
"Everything we saw I taught her," Judge said. "She has a great drop curve; her drop curve was working and the changeup was working. I told our team what we had to look for, but we took too many pitches."
The Wreckers (8-7) entered the game having won four of their last six games, but fell flat against the red-hot Hatters.
"I'm kind of surprised that we didn't show up," Judge said. "We didn't show up offensively or in the circle. (Danbury) came to have a game and we didn't."
An RBI single to Gabby Perry broke up the shutout bid in the bottom of the seventh.
Danbury 10, Staples 1
DANBURY 020 071 0 - 10 7 2
STAPLES 000 000 1 - 1 4 4
Records: Danbury 10-5, 8-5 FCIAC; Staples 8-7, 6-7 FCIAC.
Batteries: D-- Melissa Jakubowski and Alyna Bellantoni; S--Gillian Birk (L), Emily Lustbader and Nicola Schenck. Highlights: D--Hailey Kern went 3-for-4 with 3 RBI. Hanna Bogues went 1-for-3 with a grand slam.