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Olivia Quagliani's sacrifice fly scores Madison Watts in the fifth inning against Law, May 21, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
Jolie Morrell's sacrifice fly scores Kial Watts in the first inning against Law, May 21, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
Season ends with 1-0 loss to South Windsor
By MIKE MADERA
(June 3, 2015) - The West Haven softball team has had its share of tough losses this season. Wednesday afternoon against South Windsor will be the toughest.
Watching as the Bobcats scored the game's only run in the bottom of the seventh inning, No. 29 West Haven fell to fourth-seeded South Windsor, 1-0, at South Windsor in the opening round of the CIAC Class LL state tournament.
Coach Joe Morrell and the Westies fell against South Windsor, June 3, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
With the loss, West Haven ends the season at 8-13.
"I am very proud of the way we ended the season," West Haven coach Joe Morrell said. "We had energy and we competed. Their pitcher was tough. She threw hard and high, and we had a hard time staying off it."
Kial Watts may have pitched her best game of the year, but it was not enough as West Haven fell against South Windsor, June 3, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
With the game scoreless heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, South Windsor scored the lone run of the contest.
Bobcats' pitcher Peyton Silverman led off by reaching second base on an error by Alexis Severino in center. Sophomore Maddy Donahue walked and Becca Marchessault sacrificed both into scoring position.
West Haven pitcher Kial Watts retired Kalee Mabey on a fly ball to right without a run scoring. With two outs, Watts looked as if she would get out of the inning, but Alex Goslin's grounder was booted by Marisa Pacapelli at short to allow the winning run to score.
The loss dampened a solid effort by Watts in the pitching circle as the senior allowed just five hits and no earned runs, while walking two and striking out two.
"Kial pitched her best game of the year,"Morrell said. "Her change up was nasty."
Jolie Morrell (r.) and the West Haven softball team fell fell against South Windsor, June 3, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven could not push a run across in the game as Silverman was on her game. The junior lefty threw 99 pitches, 71 for strikes, allowing just Jolie Morrell's first inning single. Silverman struck out 15 and walked just one in the win.
The Westies did not have many scoring opportunities in the contest, having just three runners on base. Morrell singled with two outs in the first, but was stranded when Silverman struck out Madison Watts.
The strike out by Watts started a string of 12 batters in a row retired by Silverman. Olivia Quagliani broke the string when she reached on an error in the fifth, but Quagliani was left stranded when Pacapelli grounded out to end the frame.
Kial Watts walked with one out in the sixth, but was left stranded as Severino struck out and Morrell flied to left.
On to the Postseason
Seniors deliver on Senior Night
By MIKE MADERA
(May 21, 2015) - Marisa Pacapelli and her senior teammates vowed they were not going to leave Biondi Field Thursday evening without a postseason bid in hand. Pacapelli and company lived up to the challenge.
Behind Pacapelli’s go-ahead single in the fifth inning and sacrifice flies by seniors Jolie Morrell and Olivia Quagliani, West Haven earned a spot in the CIAC state tournament with a 3-2 Southern Connecticut Conference victory over Jonathan Law on Senior Night.
“We definitely all took a part in this,” Pacapelli said after her team improved to 8-12. “This was a huge game for us. We knew a loss ended our season. We just wanted it and we tried so hard. We didn’t want it to end. It all comes down to mental toughness. Joe (Morrell) talks about it all the time. We were not going to get down. This is just a great feeling.”
After Law took a 2-1 lead with a pair of runs in the fifth inning, the Westies showed the mental toughness Pacapelli mentioned in the bottom of the inning, scoring twice off Law pitcher Aubrey Bepko to take the lead for good.
Juniors Madison Watts and Julia Bothwell led off the inning with singles and both advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice by freshman Makenna White. Quagliani’s sacrifice fly to center scored Watts and Pacapelli’s two-out single to right scored Bothwell with the eventual winning run.
Jolie Morrell (l.) congratulates Julia Bothwell (18) on a run scored against Law, May 21, 2015 Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We challenged the kids,” West Haven coach Joe Morrell said. “We told them the coaches could not be the only ones energized to get there. The kids responded. Kial Watts is seven for eight in her last two games and the one time she did not get a hit, the kid made a great catch to rob her. All the seniors contributed in a big way. Marisa (Pacapelli) came up with the big hit. It was huge. She hit the ball the other way. That was a nice job by her.”
Before the Westies could celebrate a postseason bid, there was one final hill to climb. That hill nearly turned into a mountain in the seventh as Law used a West Haven error and a dropped third strike with two outs to put a pair of runners on base for cleanup hitter Amanda Leone.
West Haven senior pitcher Kial Watts battled and eventually prevailed, getting the dangerous Leone to ground out to Madison Watts at third to seal the victory.
“This is the type of game you always want to be in,” Law coach Melanie Paolini said after her team fell to 11-9. “We had some tremendous outfield play tonight from Erin Saley and Megan Smith. We got some hits, but not the timely hits. Kial (Watts) did an awesome job out there for them. She is a true competitor. It is nice to watch her play.”
West Haven took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Kial Watts, who had three hits in the game, led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice by senior Alexis Severino and scored on Jolie Morrell’s sacrifice to left.
Madison Watts steps on third for the final out of the game, May 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We knew how bad we wanted it,” Jolie Morrell said. “We came out with so much energy. We had a meeting with everyone and just said no matter what, we are going to stay up and win this game. It is a great feeling to get in, but even more so to be able to get in with my dad.”
The Westies could not extend the lead, stranding Kial Watts at second in the second, two runners on in the third, and seeing Kial Watts get thrown out at the plate in the fourth on a perfect throw from Smith in left to Leone at the plate on a single by Morrell.
Kial Watts scores the first run of the game against Law, May 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Law took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when Gege Romero’s double scored Smith who walked with one out, and Saley’s double scored Romero.
Madison Watts, Julia Bothwell and Alissa Tonucci each had a pair of hits for the Westies. Romero and Saley Led Law with two hits and one run batted in apiece.
Kial Watts tossed a five-hitter for West Haven, striking out five and walking four in the win.
Westies thump Gaels
Force win-and-in Senior Night
By MIKE MADERA
(May 20, 2015) - For the West Haven softball team, Senior Night will have greater importance than just honoring the graduating seniors. With an 11-5 win over Shelton Wednesday evening, the Westies improved to 7-12, needing a win over Jonathan Law on Senior Night Thursday evening to qualify for the postseason.
The Westies pounded 16 hits and used big innings in the first, second and fifth to force the decisive Senior Night contest.
Kial Watts led the way with four hits, four runs scored and two runs batted in, Olivia Quagliani had three hits and two runs scored, and Jolie Morrell, Madison Watts and Marisa Pacapelli each added a pair of hits. Alexis Severino scored twice and drove in two runs.
Madison Watts with a hit against Shelton, May 20, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies took a 2-0 lead in the first inning as Madison Watts singled to score Kial Watts and Julia Bothwell doubled to score Madison Watts.
West Haven increased the lead to 5-0 with three more runs in the second. With two outs and two on, Severino singled to score Quagliani and Kial Watts, before Severino scored on a single by Morrell.
After Shelton evened the game with five runs in the third off West Haven starting pitcher Julia Bothwell, West Haven took the lead for good when Madison Watts singled to score Kial Watts in the fourth.
The Westies put the game away with five runs in the fifth. Kial Watts singled to score Quagliani, Morrell singled to score Alissa Tonucci and Kial Watts scored on an error on the play. Severino then scored on a ground out by Madison Watts.
Loss to Branford puts postseason hopes in jeopardy
By MIKE MADERA
(May 18, 2015) - The season has come down to the final two games for the West Haven softball team. Losing 8-1 to Branford Monday afternoon, the Westies fell to 6-12 on the season and need home wins over Shelton and Law this week to play in the postseason.
West Haven softball coach Joe Morrell (l.) and assistant coach Jocey Morrell (r.), seen earlier in the season, look on as the Westies need two wins in their final two games to play in the postseason. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Hoping the season did not come down to the last week in terms of postseason chances, the Westies could not pick up a much-needed victory in Branford as the Hornets scored six times in the second inning off starter Kial Watts and never looked back.
West Haven's offense was held to just four hits in the loss. Kial Watts tripled and drove in a run , and Marisa Pacapelli, Olivia Quagliani and Alexis Severino all singled to account for the West Haven offense.
West Haven had a runner on base in every inning but the seventh, The Westies only converted in the third as Makenna White walked to lead off the inning and pinch-runner Paige Sheridan scored on a triple by Watts.
Watts never moved as Pacapelli struck out, Jolie Morrell popped out and Madison Watts grounded out to end the inning.
Severino singled with two outs in the fourth, Pacapelli walked with two outs in the fifth and Quagliani singled with two outs in the sixth, but all were left stranded.
Westies top Hillhouse
Duprey leads WH to sixth win of season
By MIKE MADERA
(May 15, 2015) - If ever a team needed a win, it was the West Haven softball team. Coming off a stunning loss against Hamden, West Haven rebounded nicely, pounding Hillhouse, 18-2, in a game stopped after five innings due to the mercy rule at Biondi Field Friday afternoon.
With the victory, West Haven improved to 6-11 on the season, needing two wins in its final three games to qualify for the postseason.
"We needed this win," West Haven coach Joe Morrell said. "We did what we had to do. We scored early, we made the plays and did what we had to do."
Alexis Severino and the Westies defeated Hillhouse, May 15, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven put he game away early, scoring three runs in the first inning and 10 more in the second for a 13-0 lead. The Westies had 10 hits in the game and took advantage of six Hillhouse errors.
Sara Duprey earned the win for West Haven, going five innings and allowing two runs on one hit, striking out six and walking four.
Sara Duprey and the Westies defeated Hillhouse, May 15, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Madison Watts led the offense with three hits, two runs scored and two runs batted in, Alissa Tonucci had two hits, three runs scored and four runs batted in and Duprey added two hits, two runs scored and drove in three.
Kial Watts and the Westies defeated Hillhouse, May 15, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven took a 3-0 lead in the first inning as Kial Watts and Jolie Morrell walked and Madison Watts singled to scored Kial Watts, and Morrell after a Hillhouse error on the play. Alexis Severino knocked in the final run of the inning with a ground ball out.
The Westies put the game away ion the second. Duprey singled, Pacapelli and Morrell walked and and Madison Watts singled to score Pacapelli..
Morrell scored on an error, Severino drove in one run with a single and Tonucci drove in a pair with another single.
Madison Watts and the Westies defeated Hillhouse, May 15, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Hamden stuns Westies
Postseason hopes take hit in 8-7 loss
By MIKE MADERA
(May 13, 2015) - There are tough losses and there are crushing losses. Wednesday evening's setback for the West Haven softball team will go down as a crushing loss as Hamden scored four times in the seventh inning, then held off a ferocious rally by the Westies in the bottom of the inning to stun West Haven, 8-7, at Biondi Field.
With the loss, West Haven fell to 5-11 and needs to win three of its last four games to play in the postseason.
Jolie Morrell records the out against Hamden, May 13, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
In an earlier season win at Hamden, the Westies led by six runs heading to the bottom of the seventh and hung on to win by one run. This time, the Westies were not as fortunate as Hamden scored four time to erase a 7-4 deficit.
Trailing 8-7 in the bottom of the seventh, things could not have started any better for the Westies as Jolie Morrell led off with a double, Madison Watts walked and Julia Bothwell singled to load the bases with no outs.
Hamden escaped as Olivia Quagliani, who had already homered twice in the game, struck out, Alexis Severino popped out to short and Sara Duprey popped out in foul territory to end the game.
Trailing 3-0, West Haven took a 7-3 lead with two runs in the fourth and five more in the fifth.
In the fourth, Bothwell doubled to left with one out and Quagliani drilled a homer to right to get within 3-2.
West Haven looked as if it took a commanding lead in the fifth with a handful of runs. With one out, Kial Watts singled, Marisa Pacapelli walked and Morrell singled to load the bases.
Madison Watts singled to score Kial Watts with the tying run, but Pacapelli was out at home. Bothwell followed with a single to score Morrell and Madison Watts for a 5-3 lead,before Quagliani lifted a two-run homer to center for a 7-3 advantage.
Olivia Quagliani rounds second after a homer against Hamden, May 13, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies had their opportunities throughout the game, but did not convert. Morrell singled with two outs in the first, Quagliani walked and Severino singled with one out in the second, Kial Watts walked to lead off the third and Kial Watts singled with two outs in the sixth. All were left stranded.
Morrell and Bothwell each had three hits for the Westies, while Quagliani hit two home runs, drove in four and scored a pair. Watts also had two hits in the loss.
Westies beat SHA
Kial Watts records 100th career hit
By MIKE MADERA
(May 11, 2015) - Looking to qualify for the postseason, the West Haven softball team needed four more wins entering Monday evening's contest against Sacred Heart Academy.
Led by two hits apiece from Kial Watts, Madison Watts and Jolie Morrell, the Westies picked up their fifth win of the year with a 9-7 victory over the Pacers. Trailing early, the Westies battled back to pull out the win, needing just three more wins to play in the postseason.
"I have been asking for that all year, that mental toughness," West Haven coach Joe Morrell said. "When the going gets tough, we need someone to step up."
Included in the victory was a third inning single by Kial Watts, the 100th of her career.
Sacred Heart Academy's Becca Marks (25) and West Haven coach Joe Morrell (r.) congratulate Kial Watts on recording her 100th career hit, May 11, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Trailing 4-0 after the Pacers scored twice in each of the first and third innings, the Westies rallied for the win, scoring three times in the third and six more runs in the fourth.
"That 1-0 loss (Law) really bothered me," Morrell said. "That was a game we should have won. We have to win that game. We can't let games go that we are supposed to win."
West Haven got within a run in the third inning. Ally Marron led off with a walk, Kial Watts followed with a single and Marisa Pacapelli singled to score Marron to get West Haven with 4-1. Watts and Pacapelli later scored in the inning to get the Westies within 4-3.
Marisa Pacapelli and the Westies defeated Sacred Heart Academy, May 11, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
After the Pacers scored once in the top of the fifth to take a 5-3 lead, the Westies took the lead for god with six runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Alexis Severino and Alissa Tonucci opened the inning with singles, and Kial Watts doubled one out later to score Tonucci. Pacapelli then reached on an error to score Marron and Kial Watts for a 6-5 advantage.
"We took advantage of their mistakes," Joe Morrell said. "That leadoff batter getting on is key for us. Then we can play some small ball."
With Pacapelli on second, Jolie Morrell singled to increase the lead to 7-5. Julia Bothwell singled to score Morrell and Olivia Quagliani singled to score Bothwell for a 9-5 lead.
The Pacers answered with two runs in the fifth to get within 9-7, but Bothwell closed the door in relief of Kial Watts, retiring seven of the last eight batters in the game.
"Julia did a great job, especially that last inning" Joe Morrell said of Bothwell. "That's that mental toughness I am talking about."
Pacapelli drove in three runs in the win for West Haven.
Law holds off Westies
WH falls to 4-10 with 1-0 loss
By MIKE MADERA
(May 8, 2015) - With games dwindling away, West Haven coach Joe Morrell reminded his team how every play could make a difference in a game. Morrell and his Westies witnessed this first hand Friday afternoon, but none of those plays went the way of the Westies.
Failing to capitalize on numerous scoring opportunities, the Westies saw their playoff chances get slimmer in a 1-0 Southern Connecticut Conference loss to Jonathan Law in Milford Friday afternoon.
“We have six games to do it,” Morrell said of qualifying for the state tournament after his team fell to 4-10. “There were so many little things that could have gone our way and none of them did. They made some good plays. As a coach, you replay everything in your head. We have to take it one game at a time. We can’t look at is as we need four games. We have to practice hard and go one game at a time.”
Jolie Morrell makes the throw, but the Westies fell to Law, May 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
While the Westies did not turn things their way, Law was opportunistic on both sides of the field. Offensively, Law scored its lone run when a steal attempt in the first inning allowed Gege Romero to race home after a throw trying to catch Amanda Leone sailed into center field for the only run of the game.
“Both teams had opportunities,” Law coach Melanie Paolini said after her team improved to 9-6 with its fourth win in the last five games. “We kept errors to a minimum and both teams had great defense. The pitchers did a good job getting ground balls. It was such a well matched game.”
With the lead, it was up to a solid Law defense to hold off numerous West Haven charges. Law did so with some exceptional defense.
The Westies had bases loaded with two outs in the second, but Law pitcher Aubrey Bepko retired Makenna White on a grounder.
In the third, West Haven’s Kial Watts singled to lead off the inning and Julia Bothwell hit a two-out single, but Bepko retired Olivia Quagliani on a hard hit grounder to short.
“Aubrey did a great job keeping them off balance with her off speed,” Paolini said of Bepko who pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing just two hits.
The opportunities kept coming for the Westies as Alexis Severino and Ally Marron walked with one out in the fourth.
Freshman Erin Harrigan relieved Bepko and Kial Watts singled to right with two outs. Law’s Justine Bannon fired home and Severino was thrown out attempting to score.
“That was a big play for us,” Paolini said.
Law flashed the leather again in the fifth as West Haven’s Jolie Morrell led off with a double to left, but was doubled off second on a fantastic play in the gap by Meg Smith off a drive from Madison Watts. Smith’s play was huge as Bothwell followed with a single.
“We got hits, but not timely hits,” Joe Morrell said. “We needed the big hits we did not get.”
The Westies had one final opportunity in the seventh to even the contest as Kial Watts led off with a single and Madison Watts followed one out later with a double.
With two runners in scoring position and the heart of the order up, West Haven could not bring home the tying run as Bothwell popped out and Quagliani grounded out to end the game.
“She pitched well,” Paolini said of Harrigan. “She got some big outs for us. Our defense came up with some big plays. We were 5-5 going into the second half of the season and are 4-1 in the second half. We want to be better in the second half than we were in the first. We are in the state tournament. We want to start building our confidence and make sure we are peaking at the right time.”
Law had its chances as well after scoring in the first, but West Haven pitcher Kial Watts matched the Law pitching by keeping the game a one-run contest. Freshman Skyler Bender tripled with one out in the second, but did not score as Kial Watts got a strike out and a pop out to end the frame.
“Kial pitched a great game,” Joe Morrell said.
With Madison Murphy on second with no one out in the fourth, Kial Watts sandwiched two strikeouts around an infield fly to escape without any damage.
Leone and Murphy walked to lead off the sixth, but Kial Watts again escaped without any damage as the West Haven infield recorded the final two ours of the inning.
Westies fall to Mercy
Fourth straight loss drops WH to 4-9
By MIKE MADERA
(May 6, 2015) - Scoring in every inning but the first and seventh, Mercy pounded the West Haven softball team, 11-4, at Biondi Field Wednesday evening. The loss was West Haven's fourth straight and dropped the team to 4-9 on the year.
Kial Watts and Madison Watts continued their torrid hitting with two hits and a run scored apiece, while Olivia Quagliani drove in two runs.
West Haven;s defense did not help starter Julia Bothwell as Bothwell gave up 10 runs in five innings of work, only four of which were earned.
Julia Bothwell pitches against Mercy, May 6, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"Mercy made the plays and stole some hits," West Haven coach Joe Morrell said. "We are giving away too many outs and not stealing any. It makes it hard on our pitchers."
Trailing 11-0 in the sixth inning, West Haven scored three runs. With one out, Jolie Morrell walked, Madison Watts singled and Bothwell walked to load the bases.
Quagliani followed with a single to right to score Morrell and Madison Watts, before Marisa Pacapelli singled to score Bothwell.
West Haven scored its final run in the seventh. With one out, Kial Watts singled, moved to second on a grounder by Morrell, and scored on a single by Madison Watts.
As West Haven committed three errors, the Tigers jumped out to a quick lead, scoring once in the second, three times in the third and four more in the fourth for an 8-0 lead.
Kial Watts, Ally Marron and Bothwell all singled during the first four innings, but none were able to score.
Alexis Severino makes the play against Mercy, May 6, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Alexis Severino makes a sliding catch against Shelton, May 20, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
Kial Watts records her 100th career hit against Sacred Heart Academy, May 11, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
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Madison Watts fields the final out at third base against Law, May 21, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
Kial Watts is honored after recording her 100th career hit against Sacred Heart Academy, May 11, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
Marisa Pacapelli singles to score Julia Bothwell with the go-ahead run in the fifth inning against Law, May 21, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
West Haven scores a run on a double steal against Sacred Heart Academy, May 11, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
Marisa Pacapelli delivers a run-scoring single against Sacred Heart Academy, May 11, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
Frank Biondi (l.) . Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The following is from legendary West Haven softball coach Frank Biondi:
An Open Letter to the Westie Softball Program:
It is very hard to express the feelings we shared Monday night (May 4, 2015). We have a wall full of great memories and milestones at our home from over the past 30 or so years. But, we have never felt anything like Monday night.
Great players from the 80s, 90s 2000s, many of whom I have rarely seen in recent years, parents of so many of our former players there with their daughters and so many more whose daughters could not be there because of jobs out of state or school.
It just overwhelmed us.
I am glad none of us had to speak because I doubt if we could have. What was also wonderful was that we all got a chance to say goodbye to the present Westies and their families.
Also, we would like to thank those who had to make a special effort to be there. We are speechless!
Thanks to the Mayor for taking time from his busy schedule to present us with kind words and many accolades.
Last but certainly not least, Cliff, Bonnie and I would like to thank the Morrell family: Joe, "Gracie", Jolie and of course, Jackie, and the Parent Club for your friendship and hard work in making three very old warriors feel like kids again.
Cliff, Bonnie and Frank
Sheehan slips by Westies
Titans drop Westies to 4-8
By MIKE MADERA
(May 4, 2015) - Honoring former coaches Frank and Bonnie Biondi, and Cliff Casner, the West Haven softball team looked to pick up a victory in front of their former mentors. Unfortunately for the Westies and all the alumni in attendance, that victory never came as Sheehan scored three times in the third inning and held on to a 6-3 win over the Westies at Frank Biondi Field Monday evening.
Frank Biondi, Bonnie Biondi and Cliff Casner are honored before the game against Sheehan, May 4, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The loss was West Haven's third in a row and sixth in its last seven games to drop to 4-8 on the season.
West Haven alumni and current players honor Frank and Bonnie Biondi, and Cliff Casner against Sheehan, May 4, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Kial Watts and Jolie Morrell continued to sting the ball as each finished with two hits, while Madison Watts, Olivia Quagliani and Alexis Severino each had one hit apiece. Kial Watts, Madison Watts and Quagliani each drove in a run.
Kial Watts started for West Haven in the pitching circle, lasting 4 1/3 innings, giving up five runs, one of which was earned. Julia Bothwell allowed an unearned run in wrapping up the contest.
Kial Watts against Sheehan, May 4, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven's defense did not help either Kial Watts or Bothwell as five errors led to five unearned runs.
Trailing 3-0 in the third, West Haven got a run back as Alissa Tonucci led off with a walk and scored on Kial Watts' double to to right. Watts was left stranded, along with Morrell who had singled, as Madison Watts and Bothwell each struck out to end the inning.
West Haven scored its final runs of the game in the seventh inning. Kial Watts led off with a single and scored on a double by Madison Watts. After Bothwell walked and Marisa Pacapelli reached on an error to load the bases, Quagliani singled to score Madison Watts.
With the tying runs on base, neither Alexis Severino or Sadielee Roberts could come through as each struck out to end the contest.
Marisa Pacapelli with a diving play against Sheehan, May 4, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies had their chances, but could not capitalize. Pacapelli reached on an error to start the fourth, but was left stranded, and Ally Marron and Morrell singled to put runners on the corners in the fifth , but Madison Watts and Bothwell struck out to end the frame.
Severino singled with two outs in the sixth and Tonucci reached on an error, but West Haven again could not get the big hit.
Frank Biondi throws out the first pitch against Sheehan, May 4, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Amity thumps Westies
Spartans explode in third and fourth innings for 13-2 win
By MIKE MADERA
(May 1, 2015) - The West Haven softball team started the season with three wins in five games. Since that time, the Westies have been in a slump, winning just once over the past six games.
Friday night at Biondi Field in West Haven saw the slump continue as Amity used big third and fourth innings to easily defeat the Westies, 13-2. With the loss, West Haven fell to 4-7 on the season and still needs four more wins to play in the postseason.
Alissa Tonucci and the Westies fell to Amity, May 1, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies got on the scoreboard first in the home half of the first inning as Kial Watts and Jolie Morrell singled and Madison Watts reached on an error to load the bases. Julia Bothweell reached on a fielder's choice to score Kial Watts, but that was all the Westies could manage as Amity pitcher Katie Koshes struck out Marisa Pacapelli and Sara Duprey to end the inning.
The West Haven lead was short-lived as Amity's Danielle Nordyk doubled to center to start the second and scored when Morgan Perry reached on an error.
Amity then took control of the game with five runs in the third inning. With one out, Koshes singled to center, Jenna DiLorenzo singled to first and Teresa Marchitto singled to center for a 3-1 lead. Nordyk followed with a double before Perry's single to short scored Marchitto. Jillian DeMaio's single to right scored Nordyk and Perry for a 6-1 lead.
West Haven tried to comeback in the bottom of the inning when Madison Watts doubled to center and Bothwell singled to put runners on the corners, but Pacapelli's fly ball to left ended the rally and any chance of a West Haven comeback as the Spartans added six more runs in the fourth.
DiLorenzo doubled to score Koshes in the fourth, Perry doubled to center to score DiLorenzo and Marchitto, and DeMaio reached on an error to score Nordyk.
With a big lead, Koshes cruised as she finished with an 8-hitter, striking out 11 and walking just two. Koshes threw 73 of her 106 pitches for strikes.
DiLorenzo led a 12-hit attack by the Spartans with three hits, three runs scored and a run batted in. Koshes, Nordyk and Perry each ad a pair of hits with Perry driving in four runs and DeMaio knocking in three.
Kial Watts, Morrell and Madison Watts each had a pair of hits for the Westies.
Westies fall to Lauralton Hall
Crusaders post 6-1 victory over WH
By MIKE MADERA
(April 28, 2015) - The last time the West Haven softball team faced Lauralton Hall, the Crusaders decided the contest before the Westies came to bat. Wednesday afternoon in Milford, West Haven looked to take a different approach.
While the Westies took a 1-0 lead in the first, Lauralton scored the last six runs in a 6-1 victory at Lauralton Hall. West Haven fell to 4-6 with the loss.
Kial Watts went the distance for West Haven, allowing 11 hits and six earned runs, while striking out six and walking one. Watts also reached base twice with a base hit and a walk.
Madison Watts led the offense with two hits while Julia Bothwell knocked in Jolie Morrell with West Haven's lone run.
Alexa Dawid led the Lauralton Hall offense with four hits and two runs batted in and Lindsey Spitz had two hits and scored twice.
With one out in the first, both Morrell and Madison Watts singled and Bothwell singled to left to score Morrell with West Haven's lone run of the contest. The Westies squandered the opportunity as Marisa Pacapelli flied out and Makenna White grounded out.
Marisa Pacapelli and the Westies fell to Lauralton Hall, April 29, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Trailing 6-1, West Haven rallied in the fifth as Kial Watts walked with one out and Madison Watts singled with two outs. West Haven failed to score as Bothwell struck out to end the threat.
Kial Watts doubled in the seventh, but again, West Haven could not come through to produce a run.
Lauralton Hall scored three times in the third to take a 4-1 lead on Kaitlyn Mingione's two-run triple and a run-scoring ground out.
Ireland Miessau tossed a complete game, striking out 10 and allowing five hits for the Crusaders.
Westies hold off Hamden, 7-6
By MIKE MADERA
(April 27, 2015) - The West Haven softball team is halfway to its goal of playing in the postseason. While it was not pretty, the Westies jumped out to a big lead, then held on for a 7-6 win over the Green Dragons in Hamden Monday afternoon.
With the win, West Haven improved to 4-5 on the year, needing four more wins to qualify for the state tournament.
Kial Watts, seen here earlier in the season, and the Westies against Hamden, April 27, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Senior Kial Watts had a big day with three hits, one run scored and one run batted in. In the pitching circle, Watts allowed six runs, none of which were earned, on eight hits as she picked up her second win of the season.
Olivia Quagliani, seen here earlier in the season, and the Westies against Hamden, April 27, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"Kial pitched great," West Haven coach Joe Morrell said. "We played 6 1/3 innings of great ball, but we have to play all 21 outs. It was a big win for us. We needed a big performance and Kial gave us that."
Marisa Pacapelli had three hits and two runs scored, Ally Marron drove in two runs, and Alexis Severino had one hit and a run scored for the Westies.
Despite leading 7-1 entering the seventh inning, West Haven needed a great play by senior Jolie Morrell, who threw out Hailey Trasacco at third to end the game after Jocelyn Rivera singled to right to score Angelica Colon on the play.
The Westies scored single runs in the first three innings to take a 3-0 lead. Joe Morrell continues to stress the importance of tacking on runs and the Westies did so, proving to be crucial with Hamden's late rally.
In the first inning, Watts led off with a double and scored when her sister, Madison Watts, reached on an error.
The Westies added to the lead in the second inning as Severino's patience at the plate allowed her to walk with two outs. That patience was rewarded when Severino scored on a double by Kial Watts for a 2-0 advantage.
The third inning saw Madison Watts reach on an error, move to second on a sacrifice by Julia Bothwell and score on Marron's ground out. Hamden cut into the West Haven lead with an unearned run in the bottom of the inning on a two-out double by Colon.
Severino singled, but was left stranded in the fourth before West Haven rallied in the fifth.
Leading 3-1, West Haven scored three times in the fifth to seemingly put the game away. Madison Watts, who singled, scored on a Pacapelli single, Marron reached on an error to score Pacapelli and Marron scored on a grounder by Sadielee Roberts.
After Kial Watts doubled for her team-leading fifteenth hit of the season, but was left stranded in the sixth, West Haven took a 7-1 lead in the seventh.
Pacapelli singled to open the seventh and scored what turned out to be the winning run on a grounder by Olivia Quagliani.
Crusaders crush Westies
Big first inning propels LH to 21-4 win
By MIKE MADERA
(April 23, 2015) - With a key Southern Connecticut Conference contest against Mercy looming, Lauralton Hall knew it had to take care of business in West Haven first.
Scoring 12 runs in the first inning, the Crusaders, ranked fifth in the GameTimeCt/Register Top 10 poll, defeated West Haven in easy fashion, 21-4, in a game stopped after five innings due to the mercy rule at Biondi Field Thursday afternoon.
Alexis Severino against Lauralton Hall, April 23, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Crusaders, who improved to 6-0, combined 18 hits with five walks to post the easy win. Senior Jaclyn Brewster led the way for Lauralton with four hits, including a 3-run home run, five runs scored and five runs batted in.
“We have been working on our hitting,” Brewster said. “We want to be able to extend our leads. We feed off each other. We know we have to keep going. We scored a lot of runs in the first inning and we knew we had to keep up the intensity.”
The first inning Brewster talked about saw the Crusaders send 16 batters to the plate. Lauralton turned the lineup over, with the first 11 batters reaching base before the first out was made. That out, a sacrifice fly by Lindsey Spitz, still produced a run.
Brewster led off the game with a single to left, Alexa Dawid, who had three hits and three runs scored in the game, followed with a double and both scored on a triple to right by Spitz.
Kaitlyn Mingione delivered Spitz with a single, before Mingione scored on a single by pitcher Ireland Miessau. A single by Erin McCann, a double by Brewster and a single by Alexandra Moleski all produced runs in the opening inning.
Julia Bothwell pitches against Lauralton Hall, April 23, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We have gotten off to slow starts,” West Haven coach Joe Morrell said after his team fell to 3-5. “We gave up five runs to Mercy in the first, five to Sacred Heart and now twelve today to Lauralton in the first. That can’t happen. We are giving up too many hits early in the game. We have to turn that around. We need to get off to better starts.”
West Haven answered in the bottom of the first when Julia Bothwell walked with the bases loaded to force home Kial Watts who had led off with a double.
Each team traded runs in the second, before Lauralton broke the game open further with five more runs in the third. Moleski singled to score Christiana Cottrell who had tripled with one out, before Brewster ripped a laser over the fence in right for an 18-2 lead.
“We have a strong team,” Lauralton coach Amanda Acampora said. “We did some things wrong today. We have to keep working on our defense. We want to play as a unit. We want to put the ball in play and we have to make the plays. We still had some miscues out there today.”
Kial Watts had three hits in a loss to Lauralton Hall, April 23, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Crusaders added three more runs in the fifth, before West Haven tried to keep the game going with a rally in the bottom of the inning. Jolie Morrell’s two-run single was not enough as the game ended after five innings of play.
“I was happy with the way we kept battling,” Joe Morrell said. “I told the girls not to be concerned with the score. We wanted to play hard and have good at bats. I thought we did.”
Moleski and Miessau each had three hits and two runs scored, with Moleski driving in three and Miessau knocking in two runs.
Kial Watts led the Westies with three hits and two runs scored, while Morrell had two hits and drove in three runs.
Westies stunned by SHA
WH falls to Pacers
By MIKE MADERA
(April 22, 2015) - Sacred Heart Academy coach Al Ramelli was looking to see how his young team would react to adversity. Ramelli got his chance Wednesday afternoon.
Trailing by three runs with six outs to go, the Pacers capitalized on three walks and West Haven miscues to score four times in the final two innings of a dramatic 9-8 Southern Connecticut Conference Quinnipiac Division victory over West Haven in Hamden.
“We have a very young team,” Ramelli said after his team snapped a three-game losing skid to improve to 3-3. “We have a lot of sophomores and one junior. The kids never quit. This was a growing up game for us. I learned a lot about us.”
Trailing 8-7 to start the seventh, sophomore Brittany LaChance led off with a single against West Haven pitcher Kial Watts, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. LaChance scored the equalizer on a ground ball by senior Becca Marks.
The Pacers were not done as Emily Drezek continued the rally with a single, Julia Haeckel followed with another single and Carmin Clark in walked to load the bases. Drezek then scored on a passed ball to complete the Sacred Heart rally.
“We never quit,” Ramelli said. “We never put our heads down. We were never in this situation before where we had the lead and then blew it. It was a chance to see what we were made of.”
The Pacers looked as if they would have an easy time with the Westies, scoring five times in the first inning off Watts.
LaChance started the rally with a one-out single and Marks followed with another single, the 100th hit of her high school career. After Drezek walked to load the bases, Haeckel delivered a pair with a single.
“I am very proud of her,” Ramelli said of Marks. “She has been such a great player for us. She has been a four-year starter. She has been a great captain and is such a gritty player. I am so proud of her.”
Drezek scored on a West Haven error by Marisa Pacapelli at short and Taylor Weiss delivered another run with a single. When sophomore Kate Napierkowski hit a fielder’s choice to plate Clarkin, the Pacers had a 5-0 lead.
“We knew this was a big game,” Marks said. “We knew we had to come away with a win. We gave up eight runs and we knew that we had to come together and play with heart. We were able to get some clutch hits.
“I am really excited for it (100 hits) especially in the SCC where you see some tough pitching. It is nice to do it. But, once the game was going on, I was not thinking about it.”
Watts settled down and went through a stretch of retiring seven Sacred Heart batters in a row to allow the Westies to get back in the game. West Haven cut into the deficit with a run in the fourth when Olivia Quagliani singled to score Madison Watts.
After the Pacers went down in order in the fourth, West Haven got within 5-4 with three runs in the fifth. Alexis Severino started the fifth inning rally with a double to left and scored when Kial Watts followed with a double. A single by Jolie Morrell was followed by a two-run single off the bat of Madison Watts to push West Haven within a run.
Jolie Morrell, seen here against Amity earlier in the season, had a big day with three hits and two runs scored in a loss to Sacred Heart Academy, April 22, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
When the Pacers stranded a runner in the bottom of the fifth, West Haven took advantage with four more runs in the sixth.
Alissa Tonucci was hit by a pitch and scored on a double by Kial Watts. Watts scored on a double by Morrell and Julia Bothwell’s single scored Morrell for an 8-5 advantage.
“We were down 5-0 and battled back,” West Haven coach Joe Morrell said after his team lost its second straight and fell to 3-4. “Our one through four hitters all hit very well. We had some big hits. They (SHA) got a couple of hits, then a couple of things happen and all of a sudden it is 8-7. This one is very hard. I told the girls we have to be competing all the time. You have to start and finish the game."
After going silent for four innings, the Pacers started their comeback in the sixth. A pair of walks to start the inning hurt Kial Watts as Sacred Heart turned both into runs, one on a passed ball and another on a grounder to second.
LaChance, Marks, Drezek and Haeckel led the Pacers with two hits apiece, with Haeckel also driving in a pair.
Morrell led the 10-hit attack for the Westies with three hits, two runs scored and one run batted in, while Kial Watts, Madison Watts and Bothwell each had two hits. Madison Watts drove in three runs.
Mercy blanks Westies
WH falls to Tigers, 11-0
By MIKE MADERA
(April 21, 2015) - The West Haven softball team knew it was going to be up for a test against Mercy Tuesday afternoon. Ranked in the Top Ten in the state, the Tigers were starting to hit their groove.
The Westies saw this first hand in Middletown as Mercy blanked the Westies, 11-0. With the loss, West Haven fell to 3-3 on the year.
Alexis Severino, seen here earlier in the year against Amity, and the Westies fell to Mercy, 11-0, April 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We need to come ready for every game," West Haven coach Joe Morrell said. "They made all the plays."
The Tigers pounded 14 hits in the win and Brianna Sawicki allowed just three West Haven hits in the contest.
Kial Watts tripled, Madison Watts doubled and Sadielee Roberts singled in the loss for the Westies.
West Haven's best threat came in the first inning as Kial Watts tripled to lead off the game, but was thrown out at home on a grounder by Jolie Morrell.
Mercy scored the only run it would need with a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning. Madison Derita singled and scored on Michelle Thielgard's double for a 1-0 lead.
Sawicki retired ten in a row before Madison Watts doubled in the fourth, but Julia Bothwell hit into a double play to end the frame.
Alissa Tonucci walked with two outs in the fifth, but was left stranded and West Haven put a pair of runners on in the seventh, but could not score.
Mercy put the game away with four runs in the third inning on five singles for a 5-0 lead. The Tigers added two runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth to seal the win.
Fun With the Family
By MIKE PUCCI
NEW HAVEN REGISTER
(April 20, 2015) - Joe Morrell and his daughter, Jolie, have a little more to talk about at the dinner table these days.
Read the rest of this article courtesy of Mike Pucci at GameTime CT here.
Jolie Morrell (l.), Joe Morrell (c.) and Jocey Morrell (r.). Photo courtesy of Peter Hvizdak of New Haven Register.
Westies thump Gaels
WH improves to 3-2 with 13-7 win
By MIKE MADERA
(April 17, 2015) - West Haven coach Joe Morrell has been stressing to his team to drive the ball up the middle. Morrell's words have not gone unheard.
The Westies followed up a thorough win over Hillhouse with another solid effort, combining 15 hits with a handful of Shelton errors to defeat the Gaels 13-4 in Shelton Friday morning. At least every spot in the West Haven lineup had a hit, each player in the lineup reached base, and the Westies improved to 3-2 with the win.
Madison Watts led the way for West Haven with four hits, three runs scored, reached base five times and knocked in one run. Kial Watts had three hits, reached base four times, scored three runs and drove in a pair, and Marisa Pacapelli had three hits, scored twice and drove in two runs.
Kial Watts, seen earlier in the season, and the Westies defeated Shelton, April 17, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"It is nice to see an explosion with our hitting," Morrell said. "Madison (Watts), Kial (Watts) and Marisa (Pacapelli) had big days. We have spent a lot of time on our hitting in practice. It showed today."
The Westies jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second inning off Shelton pitcher Gina Ciambriello, watched as Shelton answered with four in the third, then used a five-run fourth inning to pull away for good.
Pacapelli started the second inning with a single, moved to second on Alex Marron's sacrifice and scored on Makenna White's single. After White stole second, Alissa Tonucci doubled for a 2-0 lead and Kial Watts delivered Tonucci with a two-out triple. After Jolie Morrell singled to score Kial Watts and Morrell advanced on a passed ball, Madison Watts increased the lead to 5-0 with another single.
Shelton quickly responded in the bottom of the third inning, drawing within one run with a four-run inning. With one out, Sam Woods walked, stole second and scored on freshman Kayla Resto's single.
Sophomore Mackenzie Bures walked to put two runners on and Ciambriello's triple plated two more. Ciambriello scored on a passed ball and with two runners on, Kial Watts escaped further trouble by getting Carolyn Taylor on a pop out to strand a pair of runners on the corners.
"It was good to see us come back like that," Shelton coach Joann Desrochers said.
As big as the third inning was for Shelton, the fourth was even bigger for the Westies as they came right back with five runs of their own to take a commanding 10-4 lead.
The Westies used two walks, two singles and two Shelton errors to again seize the momentum as Tonucci led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice by Alexis Severino and scored on a single by Kial Watts. With two outs, Madison Watts reached on an error to score Kial Watts, and Pacapelli followed two batters later with a two-run single to plate Madison Watts and Julia Bothwell.
"That fourth inning was huge," Joe Morrell said. "We looked at it as a little glitch in the game and we wanted to come back with at least one run. We came back with five. That was a huge difference in the game right there"
With just three seniors on the roster, Shelton has gone through some growing pains, alternating wins and losses to a a record of 2-3. Desrochers agreed with Morrell, feeling the big inning by the Westies hurt the Gaels.
"After that, it sort of deflated us," Desrochers said. "We came back, but they answered with the five runs. The errors hurt."
With Kial Watts under the weather, Bothwell relieved in the fourth and allowed only three runners in the last four innings. Bothwell hit Woods with one out in the fourth, but got two grounders to end the inning. Alexis Calhoun singled with two outs in the sixth and Lillian Rivera walked, but Bothwell got Taylor to pop to center for the final out of the inning. Bothwell then retired the side in order in both the sixth and seventh innings to close the contest.
"She came in there and got the job done," Joe Morrell said of Bothwell "She did a good job of settling down to throw strikes. She was mixing her pitches, hitting corners. It is nice to have that."
West Haven put the game away with two runs in the fifth on a two-run single by Madison Watts, and one more in the seventh on Bothwell's run-scoring single.
Calhoun led Shelton with two hits.
Westies improve to 2-2 with 17-0 win over Hillhouse
By MIKE MADERA
(April 15, 2015) - Coming off a loss to Sheehan on Monday, the West Haven softball team was eager to get back on the playing field. The Westies wasted no time climbing back to the .500 mark with a 17-0 thumping of Hillhouse in a game stopped after five innings due to the mercy rule Wednesday morning in New Haven.
The Westies pounded out 16 hits with six players having multiple hits, including Olivia Quagliani who led the way with three hits. Ally Marron, Jolie Morrell, Madison Watts, Marisa Pacapelli and Alissa Tonucci each had two hits apiece.
Olivia Quagliani, seen here earlier in the year against Amity, had a big day against Hillhouse, April 15, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Madison Watts led the offense with two runs scored and four runs batted in. Morrell scored twice and drove in three runs, and Quagliani scored twice and drove in a pair.
Julia Bothwell picked up the win, allowing one hit in five innings. Bothwell struck out 12 and walked two, throwing 48 of her 70 pitches for strikes.
The Westies put the game away with ten runs in the first inning and six more in the second.
"We wanted to put runs up early and we did," West Haven coach Joe Morrell said.
In the first inning, Kial Watts and Jolie Morrell walked to start the game and Madison Watts followed with a run-scoring single. Quagliani singled to score Madison Watts, Tonucci singled to score Bothwell and Quagliani, Alexis Severino was hit by a pitch to force in Pacapelli, and Kial Watts singled to score Tonucci. Jolie Morrell followed with a single to score Sara Duprey and Severino.
Marisa Pacapelli, seen here earlier in the year, led West Haven to a victory against Hillhouse, April 15, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Quagliani, Pacapelli and Tonucci opened the second with singles, and a pair of fielder's choices scored two runs.
Jolie Morrell singled to score Duprey and Madison Watts doubled to score Kial Watts and Jolie Morrell. Quagliani drove in the final run of the inning as her double scored Madison Watts.
Sheehan shuts out Westies
WH falls to 1-2 with 6-0 loss
By MIKE MADERA
(April 13, 2015) - The West Haven softball team was hoping to start the spring vacation on a positive note. Unfortunately for the Westies, they ran into Sheehan pitcher Missy Pereira.
Holding West Haven to just three hits, Pereira led Sheehan to a 6-0 victory in Wallingford Monday afternoon.
Pereira threw 86 pitches, 65 for strikes, walked one and struck out 11 in the win for Sheehan.
"The pitching was a little overwhelming for us today," West Haven coach Joe Morrell said. "We played really good for five innings."
The Westies got hits from Jolie Morrell, Julia Bothwell and Madison Watts, but could not finish any rally.
West Haven had a scoring opportunity in the first inning, but failed to capitalize. With two outs, Madison Watts walked and Julia Bothwell singled to put runners on the corners, but Marissa Pacapelli grounded out to end the frame.
Morrell singled with two outs in the third, but was left stranded, and Madison Watts singled with two outs in the sixth, but did not move as Bothwell grounded out to end the frame.
"We have faced two of the three best pitchers we are going to face," Joe Morrell said.
Kial Watts went the distance for West Haven, allowing four earned runs on 13 hits, while striking out seven and walking two.
Sheehan took a 2-0 lead in the third and added four more runs in the sixth to come away with the victory.
All is Well
Junior Julia Bothwell delivers game-winning hit for WH
By MIKE MADERA
(April 9, 2015) - Searching for a clutch hit in what was looking to be a long contest, West Haven’s Julia Bothwell delivered. Ripping a 2-0 pitch to center, Bothwell’s single scored Madison Watts with the winning run as West Haven defeated Branford 2-1 in eight innings of a Southern Connecticut Conference interdivision contest at Frank Biondi Field in West Haven Thursday afternoon.
West Haven, seen here against Amity in the season opener, had reason to celebrate with a 2-1 win over Branford, April 9, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Bothwell’s safety ended a contest which saw West Haven’s Kial Watts and Branford’s Julia Rosenberg battle from the pitching circle, each coming up with clutch outs throughout the contest.
While the pitching told the story of the game, a two-out rally by the Westies in the bottom of the eighth provided the thrilling ending. Junior Madison Watts started the rally with a long opposite field double to left, before Bothwell provided the dramatics.
“I was just thinking I have to hit the ball,” Bothwell said of her winning at bat. “I was waiting on a good pitch. It was a 2-0 count, so I knew I had to see a good pitch. I think a win like this is a good morale booster. This is our first win and it can help us later.”
West Haven’s first-year coach Joe Morrell was very happy with the way the team swung the bats, including the game-winner by Bothwell.
"I thought we swung the bats really well today,” Morrell said. “We had a lot of line outs. We had some tough outs. We told them last week these will start to drop and today they did.
“You win a game like this and you mature so quickly. I have to give their pitcher (Rosenberg) credit. She was tough today.”
The Westies, who improved to 1-1 after losing to Amity in the season opener, looked as if they would only need seven innings to defeat the Hornets the way Kial Watts was pitching. Branford did not allow for that as a two-out triple to right by Ariel Hansen drove in the tying run in the fourth.
“I think we have a scrappy team,” Branford coach Chuck Reale said after his team fell to 0-2. “We have an infield which has basically played four years together and an outfield which is a work in progress. I think Ariel Hansen has emerged very nicely. She had our only RBI today.”
West Haven, which took a 1-0 lead in the first by playing small ball, had a golden opportunity to pull ahead in the fifth when Makenna White singled with one out, Alexis Severino singled with two outs and Kial Watts followed with an infield single to load the bases. Rosenberg battled back to escape the jam as she got Jolie Morrell to line to first to end the inning.
“It is nice to get that first win,” Morrell said of the victory. “You don’t want to wait too long. We are looking to get our eight wins as quick as we can. That is our number one goal. We started the season against two tough teams. We had to go get this one today. Kial Watts definitely deserved the win today. She had three hits and she stepped up when we needed her to step up.”
The Hornets rallied in the seventh as a pair of walks to Hunter Kelly and Cynthia Lerman, plus a grounder by Jordyn Brecciaroli had a pair of runners in scoring position. Kial Watts escaped as well as she got Nicole Carrano to pop to second for the final out of the inning.
West Haven took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Joe Morrell implored using a game of small ball. Kial Watts led off with the first of her three hits on the day and moved to second on an error on the play. Jolie Morrell sacrificed Kial Watts to third and Watts scored on a grounder to second by her sister Madison.
“I think we have a lot more weapons throughout the lineup,” Kial Watts said. “We are all working hard and doing our jobs. It is a different dynamic.”
Kial Watts allowed five hits, struck out six and walked five in the win. Rosenberg allowed nine hits and struck out two in the loss.
“I thought both pitchers pitched very well today,” Reale said. “We knew it would be a combination of hits which would win it and unfortunately for us, they got them.”
Madison Watts and White each finished with two hits in the game for the Westies. Carrano had two hits for Branford.
Westies fall to Amity in Opener
Lack of offense key to 4-0 loss against Amity
By MIKE MADERA
(April 8, 2015) - West Haven softball coach Joe Morrell is well aware his team may struggle to score this season. He is also aware it may take more than three hits to get the job done.
Amity pitcher Katie Koshes allowed just three hits, worked out of just two jams and struck out 10 West Haven batters as the Spartans defeated West Haven 4-0 in the season opener for both teams in Woodbridge Wednesday afternoon.
Joe Morrell fell in his first game as coach of the Westies against Amity, April 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies had runners on base in every inning but the fifth and sixth, but only threatened in just the second and third. Koshes, however, never relented and got out of both jams.
In the second inning, senior Marisa Pacapelli led off and reached third on an error, but was erased on Alissa Tonucci's grounder to first. In the third, senior Jolie Morrell reached on a two-out double, but was stranded when Madison Watts was retired on a fly ball.
Marisa Pacapelli slides into third base against Amity, April 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Koshes allowed a walk to Kial Watts in the first inning , but retired the next three batters in order. Koshes allowed a one-out single to Pacapelli in the fourth, but struck out the next two batters, and allowed an infield single by Pacapelli to start the seventh, but again retired the following three hitters.
Jolie Morrell heads to second with a double against Amity, April 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Amity gave Koshes all the run support she would need in the first inning off West Haven pitcher Kial Watts.
Jenna Thomas led off with a triple to right and scored on a ground ball to short by Cassidy Kirby. The Spartans increased the lead to 2-0 in the fourth with a two-out rally as Jenna DiLorenzo singled to center and Amanda Rieser doubled to right.
Alexis Severino chases down a base hit by Amity, April 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"Kial (Watts) pitched really well," Morrell said. "She allowed just six hits and one walk. She kept them off balance. The defense was great. We made one error.
"We had some very good at bats against a very good pitcher. Overall, I am very pleased."
Kial Watts allowed six hits and three earned runs in six innings of work. The senior pitcher walked one and struck out another in the loss.
Pacapelli led the West Haven offense with two of the team's three hits.
Back to Basics
New look Westies hoping for big results
By MIKE MADERA
(April 5, 2015) - When the West Haven softball team takes the field for the first regular season contest of the season Wednesday afternoon, (weather permitting), a vastly different look will be on display. Starting with the coaching staff and moving down the bench, there are plenty of new faces.
While that may scare some, for long-time West Haven hockey coach and first-year softball coach Joe Morrell, it is a challenge he accepts and loves. Morrell, who takes over for retired legendary coach Frank Biondi, has just four seniors returning from last year's squad which was eliminated in the first round of the state tournament by Greenwich.
"We will play small ball," Morrell said. "We will do the simple things well like sacrifice bunts, stealing bases and the hit and run. We will use everything. We need to play solid defense and make the plays."
Along with the departure of Biondi, the Westies lose the play of shortstop Sierra Santana and catcher Amber Bonewicz. Not only do the Westies lose their defense, but their bats at the top of the order will need to be replaced as well.
Santana led the team with 21 runs scored one year ago and Bonewicz had a team-leading two home runs.
The 2015 Westies will be led by senior co-captains Jolie Morrell and Kial Watts. Morrell will play first base and Watts will either pitch or anchor the team's infield at shortstop.
Senior co-captain Jolie Morrell will play a big role n the success of the 2015 Westies. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Coach Morrell has options on defense as senior Marisa Pacapelli will play second when Watts is at short and will play short when Watts is pitching.
Juniors Julia Bothwell and Sara Duprey will also be counted on to pitch this season, with both getting valuable experience in 2014.
Defense will be the key as junior Alissa Tonucci will be in left, senior Alexis Severino will be in center and junior Alexandra Marron will be in right. The infield will start off seeing junior Madison Watts at third, Kial Watts at short, Pacapelli at second and Morrell at first.
Senior co-captain Kial Watts will be counted on to lead the 2015 Westies. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Sophomore Sadie Roberts, who has hit well in the preseason, will play second and right, and senior Olivia Quagliani is a versatile player who should see plenty of playing time.
"We want to make the state tournament and the SCC tournament," Joe Morrell said. "Obviously, every year, you want to win the SCC and state championships.
"We need to have good pitching, good defense and we need to hit the ball well. We need to get ten hits, or nine or eight hits per game. We need to move runners over."
With the pitching staff having many possibilities, the catching position will also be up for grabs. Freshman Makenna White and sophomore Paige Sheridan will compete for the backstop position.
"I like the fact we are getting better each practice," Morrell said. "Defensively, we are working on hitting the cut off and where to be. We want everyone to be in the ready position. We want them thinking of all the situations. The infielders are doing the little things. We are starting to see it."
Senior Alexis Severino will anchor the outfield in center. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Offensively, the Westies are led by Kial Watts, who had a team-leading 33 hits and 19 runs batted in a season ago. Kial Watts will start the season at the top of the order, with Morrell, Madison Watts and Bothwell adding to the heart of the order.
Madison Watts will be counted on to lead the offense in the middle of the order in 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"Kial Watts has been hitting the ball," Morrell said. "She, by far, has been our best hitter so far. We are looking for more consistency as a team."
The Westies will open the Joe Morrell era Wednesday afternoon at Amity at 3:45 p.m. and play their home opener Thursday at 4 p.m. against Branford.
Julia Bothwell singles to score Madison Watts with the winning run against Branford, April 9, 2015.
Madison Watts drives in Kial Watts against Branford with a grounder to second, April 9, 2015.
Jolie Morrell reaches on an error to score two runs against Shelton, May 20, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
All-State Players - Stacey Dixon '93; Tammy Hackley '93; Kim DeMayo '94; Angelina Sousa '94; Shannon Curren '95; Laurie DelGrego '98; Liz Vaccino '98; Lindsay Connor '03; Vicci Duane '04; Krystle Denny '04; Shannon Connor '09, '10; Elaina Maio '10; Joanna Fekieta '11; Camdyn Morgillo '13; Kial Watts '15
Retired Numbers - Tammy Hackley (Class of 1993) #13
Jolie Morrell singles against Lauralton Hall, April 23, 2015.
Kial Watts hits a two-run single against Shelton, May 20, 2015. Double click to view full screen.