MERIDEN — Maloney softball players can be a handful when they get on base. The Spartans typically pounce on any opportunity to take the extra base and take advantage of enemy errors.
On Wednesday, on Senior Day at the Dunn Sports Complex against Platt, the latest example of Maloney’s aggression on the bases was three runs scoring on a single passed ball in the third inning as the Spartans overwhelmed the rival Panthers, 11-1.
Maloney loaded the bases with two outs in that third inning as Haley Kennedy doubled and Lea White and Madison LaValle walked. With Milytza Perez at the plate, a passed ball compounded by two errors on the play allowed Kennedy, White and courtesy runner Tauryn Askew to all score.
The ball never left the infield.
“That’s just Maloney being aggressive and I thought that was the nail in the coffin,” Maloney coach Scott Aresco said.
Askew scored all the way from first base.
“The big clap you heard in the outfield during our post-game chat was about her,” Aresco said. “She doesn’t start, but she’s always a spark. She’s done that a bunch of times this year, scoring that extra run.”
In all, The Spartans scored two runs in the first inning, four in the second, three in the third and two in the fourth. They flooded the bases with 12 runners in the first two innings alone. Five walks and two Platt errors contributed to the deluge.
Perez staked Maloney to the 2-0 lead in the first inning by sending an opposite-field single into right to score White and Askew.
Platt pitcher Caitlyn Hart did well to get out of further trouble and keep the deficit at two runs. The Spartans, though, were right back at it in the second. Kennedy and Alexa Papallo walked and White reached on an error to load the bases. That set the table for a two-run single by Madison LaValle that made it 4-0.
White came home on a wild pitch and Skyler Drost capped the rally with a RBI single that put the Spartans up 6-0.
“We played really hard; we hope we can carry this into the state tournament,” said Drost, who finished 3-for-4. “It was also great to win on my Senior Night. I was happy to start hitting because I’ve been in a slump lately.”
After the remarkable three-run passed ball in the third inning, Maloney tacked on two more runs in the fourth to go up 11-1.
Emma Burns started the frame with a one-out bunt single. She came around to score on a Platt error on a ball off the bat of pinch-hitter Dasia Mongillo, who in turn scored on a throwing error after a Kennedy bunt single.
Kennedy hit 3-for-3 from the No. 9 hole. She scored two runs.
“We took advantage of some walks and some passed balls,” Aresco said. “We put the ball in play.”
Platt got on the board in the top of the fourth. Victoria Talento singled and eventually scored on a RBI single by Brooklynn Church, who went 2-for-3 with a double.
“That was a great way for Brooklynn to go out,” Platt coach Trish Wodatch said. “She’s come through all year. She’s been the quiet hitter for us. She was a nice surprise this year.”
Maloney won the first rivalry meeting of the season 6-3 at Platt on May 1. Wednesday’s win ended a two-game skid for the Spartans, who finished the regular season at 15-5.
Platt signed off at 9-10. Both teams now await the release of pairings for the Class L state tournament.
“We were loose and ready today,” Wodatch said. “Cait had a rough day on the mound and we couldn’t help her with the hitting.”
Taylor Trowbridge earned the win in the circle for Maloney. She allowed the one run on seven hits and one walk while fanning two.
Maloney seniors Papallo and Drost were honored after the game as were Platt seniors Daniela Fuentes, Alyssa Donahue and Church.
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