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Close to Perfect
Hoyt’s single in 7th breaks up perfect game by Foran’s Jess Harkness
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (May 21, 2012) – Foran pitcher Jess Harkness was well aware she was carrying a perfect game into the seventh inning against West Haven Monday evening. Having never thrown a perfect game at the high school level, Harkness admittedly knew what was taking place.
Needing two more outs to attain perfection, Harkness had her bid spoiled when Katy Hoyt lace a first-pitch single to center with one out in the seventh. Harkness retired the last two batters, including Lauren Caciopoli by way of the strikeout to end the game in an 8-0 Foran victory over West Haven on Senior Night at Biondi Field.
“I knew I had it going into the last inning,” Harkness said. “I am a little disappointed but it was a good hit. She earned it.
“My two-seamer was really working. I hit all my spots. I was putting it where I wanted. Me and Danielle (Kemp) were working and hitting the spots.”
Harkness dominated the game, striking out 19 West Haven batters, including the first nine of the game. Sierra Santana spoiled the run when she popped to first in the fourth, before harness struck out the next nine.
“She (Harkness) has been like that all year,” Foran coach Jeff Bevino said. “She just did a great job today. She hit her spots and the ball was exploding on her. It seems like the harder it gets, the better she gets.”
With Harkness cruising through the contest, Foran gave the sophomore pitcher all the run support she would need in the first inning with a pair of runs.
Brooke Phelan led of the game by reaching on Jolie Morrell’s error, went to second on a passed ball and third on Danielle Kemp’s grounder to third. Marissa Bruno delivered Phelan with a single to center and Bruno came around to score on Fallon Bevino’s single to right.
The score remained that way until the fifth when Foran added an insurance run. Kemp reached with one out on an error by Crista Brennan at third, Bruno singled to center and Gina Georgetti singled to score Kemp.
“We did not make any plays,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said. “When you do that and don’t hit, that’s not going to be good. Their girl was on today.”
Foran put the game away with three runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh. In the sixth inning, Bruno delivered two runs with a triple and scored on a passed ball for a 6-0 lead.
Bevino led off the seventh with a double and scored on a wild pitch. After Rebekah DeRosa reached on an error, she scored on a single by Alyssa Puccilli.
“We know we can play,” Bevino said. “We have good pitching and really good defense. We have a nice team. We beat a lot of good teams.”
Bruno led Foran with two singles, a triple and three runs batted in. Bevino and Georgetti each had two hits.
Santana allowed 10 hits, walked three and struck out four in the loss for West Haven. The Westies honored lone senior Candace Lawrence after the game.
Westies fall to Amity
Spartans score three in sixth to drop WH
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (May 18, 2012) – Amity’s Heather Watt has been struggling at the plate lately. While she hit the ball hard in her first two at bats, Watt had nothing to show for it.
The sophomore picked the right time to come up with a big hit. Watt cleared the bases with a two-out double down the line in left, leading Amity to a 3-0 victory over West Haven at Biondi Field Friday night.
“I just tried to relax and do my best,” Watt said. “I have been struggling lately. I just wanted to have a good at bat and drive the ball.
“This is really big for us. We have been in a really good winning streak. We want this to carry into the SCC tournament. Hopefully, we carry it there.”
The game was scoreless through five innings as West Haven’s Sierra Santana and the Amity combination of Heather Ferranti and Dana Blydenburg matched zeroes. The Spartans (16-4) finally broke the scoreless tie in the sixth.
Jacqueline Ferraiolo led off with a double and Corina Zdrowski hit a one-out single to right to put runners on the corners. Ferranti followed with an infield single to load the bases before Watt’s shot down the line in left fell just inside the foul line, scoring all three runners.
Read the rest of this article in the Milford-Orange Bulletin here
Katy Hoyt’s RBI single leads WH to first win of year
By MIKE MADERA
(May 17, 2012) – The West Haven softball team was looking for its first victory of the year Thursday evening against Hand of Madison. Coach Frank Biondi was looking for a cleanly played game from his team.
When all was said and done, both came true as the Westies rode the run-scoring single of Katy Hoyt in the fourth inning to defeat the Tigers 1-0 at Biondi Field. After several close contests on the year, West Haven avoided a winless season and improved to 1-17.
"It feels great," Biondi said. "The defense played excellent and made all the plays. We did not make any errors all game. The kid at second (Marisa Pacapelli) made three or four good plays, Candace (Lawrence) played a great shortstop and the kid in center (Alex Severino) made a catch you cannot believe, stretching her arm out at the last second.
"It is great to get that feeling of a win. We have freshmen in the lineup so it was good for them to feel a win. We played a good game."
After going down in order in the first three innings, West Haven scored the only run it needed in the fourth inning.
Sierra Santana opened the inning witha single, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball.
With Sierra Santana in scoring position, Hoyt ripped a single down the line in left to plate Santana with the only run of the game.
"It was good for Katy to come through," Biondi said. "Sierra keeps plugging along. She gets a hit or two a game and she leads the team in stolen bases. She is a good player."
As West Haven went down in order in its final two at bats, the rest was up to Santana and the West Haven defense. Both came through as Santana tossed a complete game four-hitter, striking out two, and the defense played errorless softball.
"The best part was watching the kids after the game," Biondi said. "The kids worked so hard like Sierra. She never shows any emotion but she threw her hands in the air after the game as if to say finally. That was great to see."
West Haven entered the game knowing one of the top hitters on the team was gone for the season. Amber Bonewicz injured her ankle against Sheltonon Wednesday, ending her campaign.
With an altered lineup, the Westies came through at the plate. The rest was on Santana and the defense.
Westies fall to Shelton
Bonewicz lost for year with ankle injury
By MIKE MADERA
(May 16, 2012) – With three games left in the regular season, West Havencoach Frank Biondi must be asking what else can go wrong. Looking for the first victory of the season, Biondi also had to deal with another season-ending injury.
Having already lost starting pitcher and leading hitter Camdyn Morgillo to a leg injury, the Westies watched as Amber Bonewicz was lost for the season after hurting her ankle in the first inning.
‘”It is going to be tough without Camdyn and now Amber,” Biondi said. “Amber was our second best hitter in the lineup after Sierra Santana. She was our RBI leader and had a .383 on base percentage. She is a legitimate number three hitter.”
With Bonewicz lost for the game and the season, West Haven fell to Shelton10-2 Wednesday afternoon, falling to 0-17 on the year.
“It is another disappointing loss,” Biondi said. “We hit the ball well but we made a couple of mistakes and they capitalized.”
West Haven took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Sierra Santana singled to start the game and stole second with one out. Bonewicz followed with a single to center to put runners on the corners before Santana scored on Jolie Morrell’s single.
Shelton responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning, one coming across on Jen Sicinski’s sacrifice fly, and four more in the second for a 6-1 lead. The big blow in the second came from Brittany Lampert who doubled to score two runs. Lampert scored on a triple by Rachel Cataudella and Cataudella scored on a sacrifice fly for a 6-1 lead.
The Westies cut into the deficit in the third when Santana led off with a double and scored on Crista Brennan’s single.
Shelton added a single run in the fourth and three more in the fifth to pull out the victory. The Westies had their chances but left a pair of runners on in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
“We did not get the big hits,” Biondi said. “The problem is no one knows how to win.”
Santana, Brennan, Morrell and Lauren Caciopoli each had two hits in the win for West Haven.
Westies remain winless after loss to North Haven
By MIKE MADERA
(May 14, 2012) – With four games remaining in the regular season, the West Haven softball team is inching closer to a form of perfection no one looks forward to. Suffering a 5-0 loss to North Haven Monday evening at Biondi Field, the Westies fell to 0-16 on the year.
As has been the case all season, West Haven could not get the big hit. The Westies squandered their opportunities and had a pair of runners thrown out at the plate in the fifth inning.
"We had our chances," West Haven coach Frank Biondi said. "We had the bases loaded in the first, a runner on second in the second and bases loaded in the third. We had chances, no doubt about it. We just did not get the big hit."
Trailing 3-0 in the fifth inning, the Westies attempted a rally. Amber Bonewicz and Jolie Morrell opened the inning with walks, and both moved up on a passed ball.
With one out and two runners in scoring position, Candace Lawrence singled to right. Bonewicz held up to tag in case the ball was caught and was thrown out at the plate.
Caciopoli followed with a walk but the inning ended on ball four as Morrell was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch.
"I thought we played a pretty good game," Biondi said. "It was just the same old story.
"We swung the bats pretty well. But, again, we did not get the runs in when we had our chances."
The Westies had a chance to score first as Sierra Santana started the game forWest Haven with a single and Bonewicz walked. Morrell followed with another walk but Caciopoli struck out and Lawrence hit into a fielder’s choice to end the threat.
North Haven scored all the runs it needed in the second and third innings. Gina Carbone’s double delivered the first run in the second and a walk, two doubles and a West Haven error produced two more runs in the third.
West Haven left runners on in the third and fourth innings and never forced a run across against North Haven pitcher Arianna Pustari.
"I feel like we are improving," Biondi said. "We have some bright spots. The kid in center (Alex Severino) is going to be a player. You mark my words. I noticed it immediately with her.
"Jolie Morrell has come a long way since day one. She hits the ball hard and is playing well at first base."
Sloppy play foils Westies
WH falls to 0-15 with loss to Mercy
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (May 10, 2012) – The West Haven softball team delivered its best offensive output of the year against Mercy Thursday evening. Despite scoring nine runs, sloppy play in the field and on the bases hurt the Westies in a 14-9 loss at Biondi Field.
“It doesn’t matter how many runs we score if we don’t make the plays,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said. “We just played a sloppy game. The trouble is we have kids who work hard out there and we have others who don’t.”
The Westies fell behind early as Mercy scored twice in the first inning. West Haven knotted the game in the second when Jolie Morrell walked, Lauren Caciopoli singled and Candace Lawrence doubled to plate a run.
After Caciopoli was thrown out at the plate on Marisa Pacapelli’s grounder to second, Alexis Severino singled to score Lawrence with the tying run.
Mercy came right back and took the lead for good in the third inning with two more runs. Trailing 4-2, West Haven went down easily in the bottom of the third.
The quick inning would prove costly as Mercy sent 13 batters to the plate, scoring eight times to blow the game open with a 12-2 lead.
Kelly Murphy singled in Hillary LaRosa, Stephanie Dean drove in Christie Idiong and a grounder by Tori Vickerman coupled with Tyler Keegan’s single drove in the fourth run of the frame.
With two outs, Madison Derita popped up between short and left. West Haven’s Katie Hoyt backed up quickly but could not hold on. Mercy added four runs with the extension of the inning.
“We were awful out there,” Biondi said of his team’s defense. “We played two innings where we played good ball. But, then we gave them right back. We had too many errors and a lack of hustle.”
Trailing 14-2, West Haven scored five times in the fifth. Severino led off with a walk, Sh’Neil Myers singled and both scored when Sierra Santana reached on an error by Stephanie Mangiamelli at short.
Hoyt and Amber Bonewicz followed with singles to load the bases before Morrell drove in the third run with a grounder off Ashley Petit. Caciopoli followed with a single to left to score Hoyt and Caciopoli hit a fly ball to drove in the final run of the inning.
West Haven capped the scoring in the seventh with a pair of runs. Bonewicz and Morrell led off with walks and Caciopoli singled to load the bases. Pacapelli singled to center with one out to score Morrell and Severino’s grounder scored Caciopoli.
West Haven’s rally falls just short against SHA
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (May 7, 2012) – Over the course of the final six games, one break has to fall West Haven’s way. Those breaks did not happen Monday evening as the Westies fell to Sacred Heart 6-4 at Biondi Field.
The Westies battled to the final out, bringing the winning run to the plate in the seventh inning after trailing 6-0 through two innings of play. Lauren Caciopoli’s laser was snared at third by Linsey DeDominico for the final out of the game.
“I was happy we battled to the end,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said after his team fell to 0-14. “We never gave up. We swung the bats well. An inch here or an inch there and we are talking about a different game.”
Trailing 6-2 entering the seventh inning, Sierra Santana singled to left off Gina Valentine with one out and Katie Hoyt followed with another single. After Amber Bonewicz lined to center for the second out, Jolie Morrell reached on an error by DeDominico to score Santana.
A wild pitch moved both runners up before Marisa Pacapelli reached on an error by DeDominico to score Hoyt. The Westies could not finish the rally as DeDominico bounced back to snare Caciopoli’s liner to end the game.
Sacred Heart jumped on the Westies, scoring four times in the first inning on three hits and two errors. DeDominico’s double scored Jenna DeMartino for a 1-0 lead, Meagan Rodriquez delivered DeDominico with a single and Courtney Nowicki and Caitlin Mallory had run-scoring singles.
The Pacers increased the lead to 6-0 in the second. A single to left by Rodriquez plated Becca Marks and DeDominico for the six-run cushion.
Santana, who allowed just one earned run, was not touched again. The sophomore pitcher retired 15 of the last 16 Sacred Heart batters, giving West Haven a chance to come back.
“I thought she pitched great,” Biondi said of Santana. “We have to make some plays behind her.”
West Haven chipped into the deficit in the second inning with a pair of runs. Santana led off with a double and scored on a one-out single by Bonewicz. Morrell’s sacrifice fly to center scored Bonewicz to cut the deficit to 6-2.
“It’s frustrating,” Biondi said. “The first and second innings were the game. It’s the same thing all the time.
“We fought back. We swung the bats well. We hit some good shots but they made the plays. Lauren hit a shot at the end but it was right at the kid.”
Santana and Bonewicz led the Westies with two hits apiece. Santana scored twice and Santana drove in a run.
Walk-off single drops West Haven to 0-13
By MIKE MADERA
HAMDEN (May 2, 2012) – If there is one positive coming out of this season for the West Haven softball team, it is the fact the Westies never give up. Fighting back from a two-run deficit in the seventh inning to even the game, West Haven watched as its hopes of the first victory of the year slipped away with a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning against Hamden.
Jocelyn Rivera did the damage for the Green Dragons as her single drove in the winning run in a 4-3 Hamden victory at Hamden High. The loss was the second time this season West Haven fell to Hamden by one run and also eliminated the Westies from postseason contention.
“I am very disappointed,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said. “We are making the same mistakes. It is not even the freshmen. We just don’t play the game right. That is all there is to it. We go over it every day.”
After West Haven tied the game with two runs in the top of the seventh inning, Hamden rallied for the win in the bottom half of the inning.
Bria Reilly led off with a single off West Haven pitcher Sierra Santana, moved to second on a sacrifice and third on a grounder back to Santana. With two strikes, Rivera singled to center to score Reilly with the winning run.
Rivera’s single took the steam out of West Haven’s comeback in the seventh. Sh’neil Myers started the rally by reaching on an error and scored on Santana’s single. Santana stole second and one out later scored when Amber Bonewicz reached on an error.
“We came back in the seventh, but they came right back,” Biondi said.
After not scoring with the bases loaded and one out in the first off Hamden pitcher Hailey Trasacco, West Haven took a 1-0 lead in the second. With two outs, Alexis Severino and Myers singled and Santana reached on an error to score Severino.
Hamden tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Angelica Colon walked to start the inning and scored on Trasacco’s two-out single.
The Green Dragons took a 2-1 lead in the third on Colon’s single to center, scoring Kelly O’Connor. The lead increased to 3-1 in the sixth when Hamden scored an unearned run.
“I can’t tell you how frustrating it is,” Biondi said. “Some of the kids don’t know the game. That’s tough. We did not make some plays we should have made.”
West Haven had a golden opportunity to score in the sixth but did not capitalize. After Jolie Morrell lined to Trasacco to start the inning, Marisa Pacapelli singled and Lauren Caciopoli reached on an error.
The Westies could not score as Candace Lawrence popped to short and Severino grounded back to Trasacco to end the inning.
Westies fall to East Haven
Loss drops West Haven to 0-12
By MIKE MADERA
(April 30, 2012) – Monday evening’s contest between West Haven and East Haven had the start the Westies have been looking for all season as the Westies scored twice in the first inning. Unfortunately for the Westies, the ending was all too similar as West Haven fell to East Haven 7-2 at Deer RunSchool.
Carlee Brigante was a thorn in West Haven’s side as she had three hits and was part of two East Haven rallies and Miranda Baldassare had three hits and drove in five runs. East Haven junior pitcher Marissa Esposito limited West Haven to six hits, striking out six and walking just one.
The game started nicely for the Westies as they took a 2-0 lead in the first inning off Esposito. Sierra Santana and Katie Hoyt had the Westies on the right track as they opened the game with singles.
After Amber Bonewicz and Jolie Morrell were retired, Marisa Pacapelli reached on an error by East Haven’s Amanda Jessey to score Santana for a 1-0 lead. Lauren Caciopoli followed with a single to score Hoyt, giving West Haven a 2-0 lead.
The lead was shirt-lived as East Haven (8-3) rallied for three runs in the bottom of the inning. Brigante led off with a double and immediately scored on a Veronica Hribko single.
After Brianna Spadacenta walked, Jessey’s sacrifice moved a pair into scoring position. Miranda Baldassare gave East Haven the lead for good with a two-run single, scoring Hribko and Spadacenta.
The first inning would be the only inning the Westies mounted a threat. Bonewicz singled in the third inning but was doubled off first on a line drive by Jolie Morrell.
Pacapelli led off the fourth with an infield single and moved to second on Caciopoli’s grounder to short. Pacapelli was left stranded as Candace Lawrence and Alexis Severino popped out to end the inning. Hoyt singled with two outs in the fifth inning but was left stranded on a pop out by Bonewicz.
While the Westies struggled to score, East Haven increased the lead in the third inning when Spadacenta led off with a triple and scored on Baldassare’s single.
East Haven put the game away with three runs in the fourth inning when Brigante and Hribko singled with one out to start the rally. Jessey singled to right to score Brigante and Baldassare’s single to center scored Hribko and Jessey for a 7-2 lead.
Hoyt led West Haven (0-12) with two hits and a run scored. Santana allowed 10 hits and struck out five.
Westies fall to Cheshire
Poor defense leads to 11 unearned runs in 15-5 loss
By MIKE MADERA
(April 26, 2012) – Winless through 11 games, the West Haven softball team has come close to winning in several of those contests. Thursday afternoon in Cheshire was not one of those occasions.
Committing nine errors and allowing 11 unearned runs, the Westies were handily defeated by Cheshire 15-5 at Cheshire. The loss drops the Westies to 0-11.
“I am not happy with the defense,” coach Frank Biondi said. “Only four out of the fifteen runs were earned. That’s not a good ratio. I am not happy with the defense, not at all.”
West Haven’s troubles started immediately as the Rams took a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Caroline Kushner led off with a single to center and BryAnna McIntosh reached on an error by Candace Lawrence at third.
Casey Harding plated the first run of the game with a fly ball to Alexis Severino in center, scoring Kushner for a 1-0 lead. Kierstyn Bourdeau followed with a run-scoring double and Alexa DiLeo doubled to score Bourdeau.
The second inning sealed the deal for the Westies. Cheshire scored six runs on just three hits, with only one of the runs earned.
Lauren Fountain started the rally with a single and Kathryn Vitale reached on an error by Marisa Pacapelli. Kushner delivered Fountain with a sacrifice fly before pitcher Sierra Santana got the next out on a pop out.
With the inning prolonged, Harding singled to left, Bourdeau and DiLeo walked to load the bases and Sara Como reached on Mariah Michaud’s error in left to score two more. Nicole D’Amato then drove in two more with a single as Cheshire took a 9-0 lead.
“We just didn’t make the plays,” Biondi said. “One bright spot was Severino in center. She played a hell of a game. She did a good job. She had seven put outs. She had a busy day and did a good job.”
West Haven finally got on the board with a pair of runs in the third inning. Sh’neil Myers singled with one out and Katie Hoyt delivered a two-out single to extend the rally. Amber Bonewicz delivered both as she doubled to cut the deficit to 9-2.
Cheshire added a single run in the third and fourth innings to take an 11-2 lead before West Haven rallied for three runs in the sixth to cut the deficit to 11-5.
Bonewicz started the rally with a walk, advanced on Jolie Morrell’s single and scored on Pacapelli’s single to center. Lauren Caciopoli reached on an error to score Morrell and Lawrence’s sacrifice fly delivered Pacapelli.
Cheshire responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning to seal what was a poor defensive game by the Westies.
“I think we are coming along,” Biondi said. “We are swinging the bats better. We are young but we have to make the plays. That’s been the story for us.”
Westies fall to 0-10 with loss to Mercy
By MIKE MADERA
(April 25, 2012) – West Haven coach Frank Biondi is looking for a solution. Ten times the Westies have gone on the field and each time they have come away with a loss.
While the performances have gotten better, the victories have not come about. Looking to pick up the initial victory of the season, West Havenallowed three unearned runs in a 5-0 loss to the Tigers in Middletown Wednesday afternoon.
“We played a good game,” Biondi said. “I liked that it was not like the Hand game. We were in the game. We played well. I was satisfied with the effort and the way we played defensively.”
As has been the case all season long, the Westies had scoring opportunities but could not score. That inability to push across a run would be costly to the Westies.
“We can’t get the hits when we need it,” Biondi said. “We had people in scoring position three times and only got one hit. We hit the ball pretty well but did not get the big hit.”
West Haven’s opportunities started right from the first inning as Sierra Santana opened the game with a walk and moved to second on a one-out single by Amber Bonewicz. Jolie Morrell hit a shot back to pitcher Ashley Petit, who knocked the ball down to throw out Morrell.
With runners on the corners, West Haven looked for the big hit. That hit never came as Petit struck out Lauren Caciopoli to end the inning.
A pair of Mercy errors put two runners on for the Westies with two outs in the sixth, but Morrell hit another hard grounder to Petit to end the inning.West Haven’s final chance to score came in the seventh with Candace Lawrence and Alexis Severino on base, but Crista Brennan grounded to second to end the game.
Mercy scored the only runs it needed off Santana in the second inning. Tori Vickerman led off with a single and scored on Tyler Keegan’s triple. Hillary DeRosa’s two-out single scored Keegan for a 2-0 lead.
The Tigers capped the scoring in the fifth as Stephanie Dean led off with a bunt single and Stephanie Marganelli reached on an error. Kelly Murphy delivered Sean with a single and Madison Derita delivered a pair.
“We allowed only two earned runs,” Biondi said. “Sierra pitched a heck of a game. She moved the ball round a lot.”
Westies drop to 0-9 with loss to Hand
By MIKE MADERA
(April 23, 2012) – Over the last handful of games, West Haven coach Frank Biondi has been pleased with his young team’s effort. Falling just short in those games, West Haven remained winless on the season.
Monday afternoon in Madison was a different story. Biondi was not pleased as sloppy play and the lack of clutch hitting led to a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Tigers.
“I thought we took a step back today,” Biondi said after his team fell to 0-9 on the year. “We looked pretty good against Sacred Heart. We did not play a good game today. We did not hustle. There were a lot of things on both sides of the ball.”
The Westies were sluggish in the field, with errors contributing to three unearned runs. With West Haven struggling to get the big hit on the day, the unearned runs were too much to overcome.
“I thought Sierra pitched well,” Biondi said of pitcher Sierra Santana. “She probably gave up one earned run really if you think about it. She only walked two batters and her control was good. We just did not make some plays again. That has hurt us all year.”
After West Haven stranded Amber Bonewicz, who had walked in the first inning against Hand pitcher Anne Horton, the Tigers capitalized in the bottom of the inning as a walk, a sacrifice and a throwing error by Katie Hoyt led to a Hand run.
The Westies again stranded a runner in the second, Marisa Pacapelli’s two-out single, and Hand once again capitalized in the bottom of the inning. An error by Pacapelli and two straight singles by the Tigers increased Hand’s lead to 3-0.
In the third inning, the Tigers turned a pair of West Haven errors, the latter by Candace Lawrence at third, into another run for a 4-0 lead.
“We were just very sloppy today,” Biondi said. “I really thought we were making progress. We looked good the last couple of games even though we lost. That was not the case today.”
West Haven had a chance to get on the scoreboard in the fourth inning but did not get the big hit. Bonewicz reached on an error to start the frame and Lauren Caciopoli singled to put two runners on with one out. Horton escaped without any damage as she struck out Lawrence and Pacapelli to end the frame.
Santana singled and stole second with two outs in the fifth but was stranded when Hoyt popped out to end the inning. Hand increased the lead in the bottom of the inning to 5-0 on an infield hit and a bloop single.
After Caciopoli walked and was left stranded in the sixth, West Haven finally got on the scoreboard in the seventh. Pacapelli led off with a walk and Alexis Severino followed by reaching on Horton’s error. Santana’s one-out single delivered Pacapelli but the rally would end there.
Horton rebounded to get Hoyt on a grounder to third and Bonewicz on a pop out to end the game.
“We did not swing the bats well today,” Biondi said. “We had our chances but did not come through.”
Westies squander opportunities in loss to Sacred Heart
By MIKE MADERA
(April 20, 2012) - With the season slowly slipping away, the Sacred Heart softball team found a way to save the season. Scoring a run in the seventh inning and another in the eighth, the Pacers squeaked out a 2-1 victory over West Haven in Hamden Friday afternoon.
With the victory, Sacred Heart improved to 3-6. The Westies came close to their first victory once again, but fell to 0-8.
“This is a big win for us,” Sacred Heart coach Ray Ramelli said. “It was a game we battled back and came back to get the victory. We were on death’s door sort of speak. We knew we had to win.”
Trailing 1-0 and being shut down by West Haven pitcher Sierra Santana, the Pacers rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. Ana DeMaio walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on a passed ball.
The Pacers wasted no time capitalizing as Gina Valentine evened the game with a single. Santana escaped without any further damage, retiring the next three batters.
West Haven had a chance to take the lead in the eighth as Candace Lawrence led off with a single. DeMaio thwarted any rally for West Haven when she retired the next three batters.
The Pacers stole the game in the bottom of the inning. Linsey DeDominico started the inning when she reached on an error by Marisa Pacapelli and stole second. After Santana got the next out, Amanda Beecher doubled to drive in the winning run.
“I am so proud of the kids,” Ramelli said. “They kept fighting and were able to rally in the seventh. Amanda Beecher came up with a big hit to win it for us.”
For West Haven, it was yet another close game in a season full of near wins. West Haven left runners in scoring position in four innings without producing a run.
“It is frustrating,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said after his team fell to 0-8. “We were ahead in the seventh inning. We are supposed to win the game
“We did not get the big hits. We had our chances. That’s okay if you make the plays. But, we didn’t make the plays. This is a tiugh one.”
After squandering scoring opportunities in the first and third innings, West Haven finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning.
Lauren Caciopoli started the rally with a one-out infield single and Lawrence followed by reaching on an error. Crista Brennan pinch-hit for Alexis Severino and hit an infield single to load the bases. Caciopoli scored the lone West Havern run on a sacrifice fly by Sh'neil Myers.
“We are close but no cigar,” Biondi said. “We should have won our past four games. We just leave too many people on base.”
Biondi’s point was proven true in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth inning, Katie Hoyt singled and moved to second on a passed ball.
Jolie Morrell folllowed with a single to right but Hoyt was just thrown out at the plate on a perfect relay by the Pacers.
In the sixth inning, the Westies left the bases loaded. Lawrence singled to right with one out and Myers walked with two outs. After Santana loaded the bases with an infield single, DeMaio escaped by getting Hoyt ona grounder to second.
While the Westies left runners in scoring position in the first and third innings as well, the Pacers had minimal scoring opportunities off Santana.
Sacred Heart’s best chance to tie the game came in the sixth inning as Beecher doubled with one out. Courtney Nowicki’s liner to left was snared by Mariah Michaud to end the threat.
“I hope a win like this can get us going,” Ramelli said. “We were able to get the clutch hits. In the past games, we were not able to close it out. I hope this tuns it around.
“Ana DeMaio kept us in the game. She pitched great.”
West Haven had 11 hits in the loss off DeMaio. Santana was the hard-luck loser, allowing just five hits.
Westies fall to Hamden despite late rally
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (April 16, 2012) - Hamden coach Pete Zoppi says as leadoff hitter Zoe Fanolis goes, so go the Green Dragons. Zoppi’s point was well taken Monday afternoon against West Haven.
Fanolis doubled with one out in the seventh inning and scored the go-ahead run on a double by Bria Reilly as Hamden held on for a 7-6 victory over West Haven at Biondi Field. Angelica Colon’s double with two outs scored Reilly with the eventual winning run.
“Our one, two and four hitters came up big today,” Zoppi said after his team improved to 5-2. “Bria Reilly had a big game offensively and Angelica Colon came up big. Zoe got the big hit to start it.
“We won this game with poise and desire. We spanked the ball pretty good. We got some key hits in key situations.”
Hamden jumped off to a quick start, scoring a run in the first inning on a triple by Reilly and a West Haven error on the relay from the outfield. The Green Dragons made it 3-0 in the third with a pair of runs.
Fanolis, who had three hits in the game, started the third inning rally with a bunt single and Reilly followed with a single. After West Haven pitcher Sierra Santana struck out Kelly O'Connor for the second out, Colon doubled to left to score Fanolis and Reilly for a 3-0 lead.
“This is a really big win for us,” Colon said after finishing with three hits, including two doubles and three runs batted in. “We are working hard and just want to keep winning. We never got down. We played all seven innings.”
West Haven answered in the third inning with four runs to take a 4-3 lead. Santana led off with a single and scored on a double to left by Amber Bonewicz.
Hamden pitcher Hailey Trasacco hit Jolie Morrell before Lauren Caciopoli’s two-out single scored Morell. Candace Lawrence then drilled a shot to left for a double, scoring Caciopoli and Marisa Pacapelli for a 4-3 lead.
“We hit the ball today,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said after his team fell to 0-7. “We were able to come back but we did not get the big hit when we needed them.”
Hamden tied the game at four in the fifth when Fanolis reached on a single and scored when Mariah Michaud could not hang on to Reilly’s fly ball in left.
The Westies answered in the bottom of the inning when Morrell singled to lead off, moved to second on a sacrifice by Pacapelli and third on a wild pitch. Caciopoli’s sacrifice fly scored Morrell to give West Haven a 5-4 lead.
“It was good the way we came back,” Biondi said. “Hamden hit the ball and made the plays. Their catcher (Colon) ripped the ball.”
Consecutive doubles by Jocelyn Rivera and Lauren Gingras in the sixth tied the game before the dramatics of the seventh inning. After Hamden took a 7-5 lead in the seventh, West Haven rallied in the bottom of the inning.
Pacapelli singled with one out and Caciopoli reached on an eror when Gingras could not hold on to her fly ball in left. Lawrence followed with a single to score Pacapelli and put runners on the corners.
Trasacco struck out Alexis Severino for the second out and Lawrence stole second to put the winning run in scoring position. Trasacco escaped and held on for the win as she struck out Sh'neil Myers, who had doubled and singled in her two previous at bats.
“Trasacco came up big in that last inning,” Zoppi said. “She got the two big strikeouts. We need to tighten up our defense but this was a big win for us.”
West Haven had a golden opportunity to put runs on the board in the sixth inning when Severino and Myers singled to lead off the inning. Trasacco escaped as she got Santana and Katie Hyt on fly balls to left and got Bonewicz on a grounder to Fanolis at short.
Reilly had a single, double and triple while Colon had two doubles, a single and three runs batted in for Hamden.
Bonewicz led West Haven with a pair of doubles, while Lawrence had two hits and two runs batted in and Myers added a single and a double.
Stress fracture sidelines Morgillo indefinitely
By MIKE MADERA
Off to a slow start to the season, the West Haven softball team saw a light at the end of the tunnel Wednesday afternoon rallying for five runs in the sixth inning. Despite a 6-5 loss to Shelton to drop the Westies to 0-5, there was reason to believe good things were on the horizon.
That light has faded just a bit. Hit with the news Thursday afternoon ace pitcher and leading hitter Camdyn Morgillo would be out indefinitely with a stress fracture of the left leg, West Haven must now regroup.
“I looked forward to watching her pitch for a couple of years,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said of losing Morgillo. “She is a gamer. It really hurts the team that she is gone but we have to get her right.
“I could see if she was thirty-five and wanted to play one last year through it. But, she is sixteen. She has another year after this, has summer ball and obviously will play in college. We have to get her better. We would never do anything to hurt the kid. She is a great kid.”
Biondi stated he noticed Morgillo favoring the leg while running the bases. Wednesday against Shelton, Morgillo reached base three times and needed a pinch-runner each time, a clear sign to Biondi his star was not right.
“She is a gamer,” Biondi said. “Last year, she played hurt half the year. She wants to be out there. But, we have to do what is right. She asked for the runner. If she asked, we knew she was hurting.
“She is the back bone of the team and the spiritual leader. She is a great kid in the dugout. She is a funny kid.”
The extent of the injury was not expected by Morgillo.
"It was a surprise when I found out," Morgillo said. "I really did not expect it. I have been in a lot of pain the last couple of months but I played through it.
"It hurt before and after games. I woke up in the middle of the night in pain but it did not hurt during games. I am taking it day by day with the hope I can pitch again this year. I see the doctor again on Tuesday."
Morgillo attended her team's 10-7 loss to Amity Friday afternoon and struggled with the idea of not playing.
"It was very hard," Morgillo said. "I went to the game today. I am a captain and I knew I had to be there to support my team."
With Morgillo out of the lineup, major changes have to be made in the field. Sophomore shortstop Sierra Santana will take over the pitching duties. Santana had some experience throwing last year as a freshman and also pitched in the scrimmage against Cheshire this year.
With Santana departing shortstop, freshman second baseman Marisa Pacapelli will move to short and catcher Katie Hoyt will move to second. Amber Bonewicz, who has a rocket for an arm, will fill the void behind the plate and Candace Lawrence will move from the outfield to third base. Biondi will insert the speed of freshman Alexis Severino into the out field in center field.
The lineup is also affected as the Westies lost their top hitter in Morgillo. The captain, who bats third, led the team with six hits and a .338 batting average.
"She's devastated right now," Camdyn's father Fred Morgillo said. "Everybody is saying it is all about summer ball, but she loves to play for him (Biondi) and she wants to play this season. She wants to play for this team and this town. That's where she is at right now."
According to the elder Morgillo, Camdyn had an ankle injury last fall and had the ankle scoped and put in a walking boot in October. When the pain first came about, the thought was her calf and lower leg needed to be strengthened due to the surgery or it could have been shin splints.
But, as the pain worsened, Fred Morgillo kept an eye on his daughter. Camdyn had an MRI after Wednesday's loss to Shelton and was told of the news on Thursday.
In all likelihood, Biondi will just slide everyone up in the order, leaving Santana at the top and having Hoyt, Bonewicz and freshman Jolie Morrell as the meat of the order.
Despite highest scoring output of the season, Westies fall to Amity
By MIKE MADERA
With his team still adjusting to life without star pitcher and leading hitter Camdyn Morgillo due to a stress fracture in her left leg, West Haven softball coach Frank Biondi did not know what to expect from his team Friday afternoon when the Westies traveled to play Amity.
Several defensive changes and a new batting order awaited the Westies. Those changes had positive and negative effects as the Westies committed six errors and fell to the Spartans 10-7.
“All the changes were tough,” Biondi said after his team fell to 0-6. “The effort was there. I thought Sierra (Santana) did well after she settled down. We got some hits today but it was not enough.”
Sierra Santana took the place of Morgillo in the pitching circle and allowed only five hits in the game. Unfortunately for Santana, she walked seven batters, including four in the first inning, and the Westies made six errors in the loss.
“She was nervous in the first inning,” Biondi said of Santana. “Everything was high. She started on the wrong foot but settled down and pitched pretty well. She gave up five earned runs. They got only five hits but she walked seven batters.”
West Haven jumped out to a quick lead in the first inning, taking advantage of an Amity miscue. Santana opened the inning with a walk and stole second. After Katie Hoyt walked, Marisa Pacapelli’s two-out fly ball was dropped, allowing Santana and Hoyt to score.
Amity bounced back with four runs in the bottom of the inning, including two on walks with the bases loaded. A single by Jacquie Ferraiolo put Amity on the scoreboard.
The Westies answered with three runs in the second as Candace Lawrence reached on an error and scored on Sh’neil Myers’ single for the first run.
Santana reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored on a double by Amber Bonewicz to even the game at four. Jolie Morrell capped the rally off pitcher Dana Blydenburg when she singled to right, scoring Hoyt who had walked.
Three errors in the third inning led to a pair of Amity runs and a 5-4 lead before West Haven evened the game in the fourth inning. Myers opened the fourth inning off pitcher Heather Ferranti with her second hit of the game, Santana followed with another single and two outs later, Bonewicz delivered a ground ball to score Myers.
The tie did not last long as Corina Zdrowski tripled to score a pair. Zdrowski scored on an error for a 9-6 lead.
West Haven’s final run came in the fifth inning. Lauren Caciopoli singled with one out and Alexis Severino walked with two outs. Myers’ third hit of the game delivered Caciopoli to cut the deficit to 9-7.
“It was about as I expected as far as the defense goes,” Biondi said. “But, the kids did not quit.”
Despite rally, Westies fall to Shelton
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (April 11, 2012) – After losing its first four games of the year, the West Haven softball team was on the cusp of its first victory of the year. A five-run rally in the sixth inning had the tying and go-ahead runners on second and third with two outs.
As has been the case all year, the Westies fell just short. Sierra Santana grounded out to second to end the inning and the Westies fell to Shelton 6-5 at Biondi Field.
“We hit the ball hard for the first time in a long time,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said after his team fell to 0-5. “We had two people in a row hit the ball hard. Maybe this is the start of something. We just give away too many runs.”
Trailing 6-0 in the sixth inning, West Haven sent ten batters to the plate. Santana started the rally with a single to left and Camdyn Morgillo followed with a single to center.
Katie Hoyt plated the first West Haven run when she doubled to left to score Santana. Amber Bonewicz grounded out to score pinch-runner Sh’neil Myers and Jolie Morrell followed with a hard single to center to score Katie Hoyt, cutting the deficit to 6-3.
After Marisa Pacapelli walked, Lauren Caciopoli laced a two-out double to left to score Pacapelli and Candace Lawrence to cut the deficit to 6-5. Alexis Severino walked and a wild pitch put a pair of runners in scoring position but Santana grounded out to end the frame.
“It was nice to see us hit,” Biondi said. “How many innings has it been for us without scoring? We had not scored since the first inning of our second game and one game went eleven innings.
“It has been frustrating. Yesterday, we had a good practice. We were taking good cuts. We were tentative at the end.”
Shelton jumped on the board quickly when shortstop Rachel Cataudella tripled with one out in the first inning and scored on Danielle Persson’s single. The lead increased to 3-0 in the fourth inning as a single by pitcher Kaysee Talcik was followed by Emily D’Angelis reaching on an error to put a pair of runners on. Both runners came around to score for a 3-0 lead.
While the Gaels were taking a lead, West Haven did nothing offensively over the first three innings, with only Morrell getting on base with a walk.
The Westies picked up their first hits of the game when Morgillo and Hoyt opened the fourth with singles. Neither would score as Bonewicz grounded to first and Morrell and Pacapelli each grounded to third.
A pair of West Haven errors in the fifth inning led to two more Shelton runs. Cataudella tripled with one out in the sixth and scored on a grounder by Persson for a 6-0 lead.
“Camdyn threw well,” Biondi said of Morgillo. “We didn’t make the plays behind her. We gave them five outs an inning. We have to catch the ball. She (Morgillo) hit the ball pretty good as well.”
West Haven had one final chance to even the game in the seventh inning. Morgillo led off the seventh with a single but advanced no further as Hoyt popped to short, Bonewicz grounded out and Morrell flied to right to end the game.
Westies fall to 0-4 as Pustari tosses no-hitter
By MIKE MADERA
(April 9, 2012) – Coming off an extra inning loss to Foran Saturday, West Haven coach Frank Biondi was optimistic as his softball team had hit the ball well. After Monday afternoon’s contest at North Haven, Biondi and his team may have to go back to the drawing board.
North Haven’s Arianna Pustari came within a hit batter of tossing a perfect game as Pustari threw a no-hitter in a 2-0 North Haven victory. Pustari struck out six and the Westies did not hit the ball hard until the seventh inning.
“We were just sticking the bats out there today,” Biondi said as his team fell to 0-4. “We did not hit the ball hard all day.
“After Saturday, we got beat by Foran, but I felt pretty good about the way we swung the bats. We swung the bats pretty well. It looked like we were heading towards a win.”
Pustari was so in control she set the Westies down in order in six of the seven innings played. The only time the Westies did not go down in order was the fifth inning when Jolie Morrell was hit by a pitch with one out.
“We did nothing with the bats,” Biondi said.
While Pustari was setting the Westies down easily, West Haven pitcher Camdyn Morgillo was doing her best to keep the Indians off the scoreboard. Unfortunately for Morgillo, the Indians picked up key hits in the second and third innings to score single runs in each.
In the second inning, Amanda Kenney singled to center and was sacrificed to second. Brittany Murray followed with a single to right. When Lauren Caciopoli’s throw went to second base, Kenney headed home from third for a 1-0 lead.
North Haven gave Pustari some insurance in the third inning. Jess Seaver led off with a double and scored when catcher Nicole Dunlop followed with another double for a 2-0 lead.
“We did not play defense and we did not hit today,” Biondi said.
Morgillo allowed only two hits the rest of the way, but could not get any offensive support. Morgillo finished by allowing seven hits, striking out six and walking one in the loss.
West Haven’s hardest hit balls came in the seventh inning. Morgillo’s line drive was snared in right and Katie Hoyt’s fly ball was also caught in right.
Westies fall to Foran in 11 innings By MIKE MADERA
The West Haven and Foran softball teams entered Saturday morning’s contest as two teams in totally different places. The Westies are looking for an identity while the Lions are looking to repeat as state champions.
For 11 innings Saturday, the two teams played as if a postseason berth was on the line. In the end, Fallon Bevino’s infield hit with the bases loaded gave the Lions a 1-0 victory in 11 innings in Milford.
“We had opportunities but did not take advantage,” Foran coach Jeff Bevino said. “Their pitcher, Camdyn Morgillo, pitched one heck of a game against us.”
After both teams squandered scoring chances throughout the contest, Foran finally prevailed in the eleventh. Brooke Phelan led off with an infield single, stole second and moved to third on a bunt by Danielle Kemp.
West Haven coach Frank Biondi had Marissa Bruno and Gina Georgetti intentionally walked as the scenario worked out twice before. Unfortunately for Biondi and his team, the third time was not the charm as Bevino’s ball was hit too soft for Amber Bonewicz to make a play, allowing Phelan to score the winning run.
“This was a game we were supposed to win in eight innings, but we lost in eleven,”Biondi said after his team fell to 0-3. “It was a good game. There were a lot of good plays. We were up all game but could not get the big hit.
”West Haven’s best scoring opportunity came in the eighth inning as Candace Lawrence and Marisa Pacapelli led off with walks. A pair of wild pitches by Foran pitcher Jessica Harkness put both in scoring position with no one out.
Harkness uncorked another wild pitch but Lawrence did not attempt to score. Harkness took advantage, striking out Crista Brennan, getting leadoff hitter Sierra Santana on a pop out and getting Camdyn Morgillo to pop to short to end the inning.
“My catcher (Danielle Kemp) made a great play retreating for the ball,” Bevino said after his team improved to 3-0.
Harkness was on her game from the start as she struck out 17 batters. The Foran pitcher’s first bit of trouble came in the fourth inning as Katie Hoyt singled with one out and stole second. Harkness escaped without any trouble as she struck out Bonewicz and Jolie Morrell to end the inning.
The Lions also helped Harkness on defense, turning a pair of brilliant double plays. With Santana on first and attempting to steal in the sixth, Morgillo’s line drive was turned into an inning-ending double play.
The Westies tried the same in the eleventh again with Santana running and Morgillo at bat. Morgillo’s bloop to third was turned into a double play by Bruno at third.
“I am very pleased,” Bevino said. “We played great defense. We did not commit an error today. We played great defense. Bruno made a great leaping catch. We made some great plays.”
The Lions had numerous opportunities to win the game before the eleventh, but could not come up with the big hit. With Bruno on third and Georgetti on second in the fourth inning, Morgillo struck out Alyssa Puccilli and got Bryanna Gonski on a grounder to first to end the threat.
With runners on the corners in the fifth and two outs, Morgillo struck out Kemp to end the frame. Morgillo did it again in the seventh as she escaped a two-on, two-out jam by getting Bruno on a grounder to Bonewicz at third.
Georgetti led off the eighth with a double and Morgillo intentionally walked Puccilli and Gonski with one out. The West Haven pitcher then struck out Susan Anthony and got Ashley Mendillo to end the frame.
“Camdyn pitched great,” Biondi said. “She’s great. She was outstanding. She had a lot of runners on base but we intentionally walked six batters. She was really, really good.”
Morgillo allowed seven hits and struck out 11 in the loss.
Westies Fall to East Haven
Errors again hurt Westies in loss
By MIKE MADERA
(April 5, 2012) – Heading into the 2012 season, West Haven coach Frank Biondi was well aware pitching and defense would tell the story of his team. Just two games in, Biondi can not like what he is reading.
A day after the defense let pitcher Camdyn Morgillo down in a loss toCheshire, the same happened once again Thursday afternoon against East Haven at Biondi Field. Three West Haven errors led to a pair of unearned runs as the Yellow Jackets defeated West Haven 3-1.
“We are just giving away runs,” Biondi said after his team fell to 0-2. “I am very disappointed. Our defense has to improve. I realize we are going to make mistakes. We do have freshmen out there and they don’t have the experience. But, I don’t expect that from the kids who have been playing two or three years. I am disappointed with the defense.”
West Haven started the game on the right foot, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Sierra Santana walked to open the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Marisa Pacapelli and third on Morgillo’s hard single to left. Katie Hoyt delivered West Haven’s lone run of the game with a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Santana for a 1-0 lead.
Morgillo held East Haven off the scoreboard over the first four innings, retiring nine in a row at one point. The streak ended in the fifth inning as Tiffani Cancel reached on an error by Jolie Morrell and moved to third on Taylor DePalma’s double.
Cancel was nailed at the plate on Amanda Palmieri’s grounder to Santana at short but Amanda Jessey blooped a two-strike pitch in for a hit to tie the game.
East Haven scored the go-ahead run in the sixth off another West Havenerror. Brianna Spadacenta reached on an error by Amber Bonewicz to open the inning and moved to second on Veronica Hribko’s sacrifice.
After Morgillo recorded a strikeout for the second out, the junior pitcher appeared to be out of the inning when Cancel hit a fly ball to right center. Candace Lawrence could not hang on, allowing Spadacenta to score for a 2-1 East Haven lead.
“This game could come back and bite us at the end of the year,” Biondi said. “We have to win these games.”
East Haven added an insurance run in the seventh. Marissa Daigle-Pacelli reached on an infield single, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on a bloop single by Carlee Brigante.
“We gave them the game,” Biondi said. “We did not make the plays.”
The Westies could not mount much offense after the first inning against East Haven pitcher Talia Loda. Morgillo’s single was wasted in the third inning and walks by Lauren Caciopoli in the fourth and Morrell in the seventh did not produce a threat.
Morgillo led the West Haven offense with two hits. The pitcher allowed seven hits and struck out eight in the loss.
Errors cost Westies in 7-2 loss to Cheshire
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (April 4, 2012) - Softball is a very simple game. Make the plays, scratch across some runs and move on. For a young West Haven team, such was not the case Wednesday afternoon in the season opener.
Committing three errors and failing to complete routine plays, the Westies fell to Cheshire 7-2 at Biondi Field in th sesaon opener for both teams.
“We knew we had a lot of learning to do,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said. “The right side of the infield is two freshmen. We have young kids in the lineup. I can live with the physical errors. That is going to happen. It is just when you don’t know what to do with the ball that kills you.”
While the defense was suspect, the offense could not do any better, managing just four hits in the game. Despite hitting the ball, the Westies could not string together any hits or put a rally together.
Cheshire pitcher Nicole D'Amato stifled the Westies throughout the game and did not allow a hit until the sixth inning. D'Amato finished with four strikeouts.
“I thought we hit the ball well today,” Biondi said. “They made the plays out there. The hitting was much better today. It will come.”
The youth of the Westies showed early. After freshman Marisa Pacapelli was hit by a pitch in the first inning, an apparent single by Camdyn Morgillo to center was erased when Pacapelli was thrown out at second by centerfielder Chelsea Mongillo.
“We just have to keep them up,” Morgillo said of the younger players. “They can’t get down. They do not have the experience right now. It will come.“I definitely can relate. I was nervous before my first game. You are not going to go four-for-four and make a diving play in your first game. They have to understand that. We just have to make sure they know we support them.”
The Rams scored the only runs they would need in the second inning. Alexa DiLeo led off with a double to deep center and scored when Lauren Fountain's one-out grounder to second was thrown away by Pacapelli.
D’Amato followed with a single to right. When the ball got by Lauren Caciopoli, Fountain scored for a 2-0 Cheshire advantage.“We got in trouble when we were down 2-0,” Biondi said. “We compounded it by making too many mistakes.”
D’Amato cruised over the course of the game, allowing only Candace Lawrence to reach on an error in the second inning before West Haven scored in the sixth. D'Amato took care of the rest in the inning, getting Jolie Morrell on a grounder to third and Caciopoli on a grounder to short.
Cheshire put the game away in the fifth inning, scoring four times for a 6-0 lead. The Rams used three infield hits, and two West Haven errors to seal the contest.
Kathryn Vitale led off the inning with an infield single, stole second and scored on an error by Amber Bonewicz at third. Sara Como reached on an infield single to short and DiLeo walked to load ther bases.
After Morgillo struck out Kierstyn Bourdeau for the first out, Fountain singled to left to plate one run. When leftfielder Mariah Michaud threw the ball away, a second run scored.
“This kid is going to keep us in every game,” Biondi said of Morgillo. “I have been very happy with her all spring. She is a smart pitcher.”
The Westies finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth inning after breaking up D’Amato’s no-hit bid. Sierra Santana broke up the no-hitter with a one-out triple to right and scored on Morgillo’s single to right.
West Haven added its second run in the seventh inning. Bonewicz led off with a double to center, moved to third on Morrell’s grounder to second and scored on Caciopoli’s single to left.
Katie Hoyt. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Youth key to West Haven’s Season
New faces to play big role in 2012
By MIKE MADERA
With the crack of the bats and pop of the gloves comes a new season. TheWest Haven softball team hopes the 2012 season brings as much excitement as last season, when the Westies advanced to the Southern Connecticut Conference championship game and made a run in the state tournament before falling to Conard.
Things may be a bit different this year as the Westies will return with different players in each spot on the field except the pitching and catching positions. Gone to graduation are Cindy Johnson and Sam Johnson, Joanna Fekieta and Shannon Connor.
“We lost a lot from last year’s team,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said. “Those kids knew the game and played hard. We need to have that this year.”
If West Haven is going to be successful this season, it will be done with the pitching of Camdyn Morgillo and defense. Morgillo, a junior captain, has been a rising star her first two years and will need to do the same as the Westies may struggle to score with an inexperienced lineup.
“Camdyn is a very good pitcher,” Biondi said. “In my estimation, she should have been All-State last year. She beat Foran and beat Sacred Heart twice. She beat the two people who were All-State and she was just as good. She was terrific. She had eleven games where she did not allow an earned run.
“She has thrown very well this year. She knows the game. She gets overlooked because she is not an overpowering pitcher.”
The Westie ace will have a familiar person to throw to with the return of junior captain Katie Hoyt. Hoyt, who missed half of the basketball season recovering from shoulder surgery, will not only be a key player behind the plate, she will need to be a big bat in the middle of West Haven’s lineup.
“We are going to have to squeak out runs,” Biondi said. “The few kids with experience are going to have to step up. Sierra Santana, Katie Hoyt and Camdyn Morgillo are really going to have to hit.”
The Westies enter this season with plenty of youth in the starting lineup, including some freshmen being thrown into the fire. Among those freshmen are Jolie Morrell and Marisa Pacapelli on the right side of the infield.
Pacapelli made an immediate impact on the soccer team during her initial campaign and will look to do the same on the softball field, using her speed on the bases and at second base. Morrell, a solid infielder, will play first base as Biondi will rely on a pair of freshman to anchor the right side.
“We have had that for a couple of years now,” Biondi said referring to freshmen starting. “Last year, it was Sierra Santana and Amber Bonewicz. You go back a couple of years and it was Jocey (Morrell). I always tell the kids I don’t care what age they are. The best players are going to play. They will be good. It is going to happen for these kids too.”
The left side of the infield will see sophomores Sierra Santana at short and Amber Bonewicz at third. Santana, who may also see some time in the pitching circle, played third last year and will move to her left to anchor the infield with the loss of Connor to graduation. Bonewicz, who saw time in the outfield and at third last season, will now anchor the corner position.
The outfield is a work in progress with some younger players in the mix. Senior captain Candace Lawrence will lead the outfield in center, with Biondi looking for the right mix in the corner spots.
Freshmen Alexis Severino and Jeana Carrano will battle for playing time with Severino seeing time in left and Carrano in right. The freshmen will battle a pair of juniors for the spots as Lauren Caciopoli (right) and Mariah Michaud (left) are in the mix as well.
The Westies will need to scratch across a few runs to back up the pitching of Morgillo. With plenty of new bats in the lineup, Biondi will count on the returning players to lead the way.
“Camdyn has to keep us in the game,” Biondi said. “She is the key. She has gotten better. The defense has to be good for her. We can’t give teams five outs in an inning. We will have to squeak out runs.”
Despite the youth and inexperience, Biondi likes this year’s team.
“The kids are good kids,” Biondi said. “They hustle. They are just short on basics. We will have to spend a lot of time on the basics. But, I like their hustle. We want to be competitive in our league and make the state tournament.”
West Haven opens the season, Wednesday, April 4 at home against Cheshire. The contest was originally scheduled at Cheshire but has been moved to Biondi Field at 4 p.m.