- Front Porch
MERIDEN — Maloney came out and scored in every inning and ace Paige Uliase was perfect through 5 1/3 before allowing a hit as the No. 8 Spartans beat No. 25 Brookfield 8-1 in the first round of the CIAC Class L softball tournament Monday afternoon at the Dunn Sports Complex.
“We got our sacrifice bunts down, we got our suicides down, Paige hit her spots and we tacked on every inning so that was good to see,” Maloney head coach Scott Aresco said.
Things started quickly for Maloney (17-4). After a double to start the bottom of the first inning from Ariele Virgulto (3-for-4, 3 runs), Saimara Cantres bunted her over to third and Chelsea Schott bunted her home.
“We really played together as a team. We really clicked today,” said Schott, a future Division II player at Mercy College who, on Monday, went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI.
On the hill, Uliase was dynamite. She hit her spots throughout the game, finishing with five strikeouts and only three hits allowed.
“She’s amazing,” said Cantres, who was 3-for-3 at the dish with two RBIs.
There was some brief tension in the final at bat for Brookfield (8-13). The Bobcats loaded the bases, driving in a run, but the rally was quickly snuffed out, wotj the game ending on Uliase’s fifth and final strikeout.
“I didn’t like the way the seventh inning went, but I’ll take the one bad inning when we’re up 8-0, but later in the rounds we can’t have an inning like,” Aresco noted.
It was an otherwise flawless performance for Maloney, which seems to be peaking at just the right time.
“We’re playing really good right now,” said Schott. “We’re just going to keep it going like that.”
And the jitters are gone, for the most part, which is good, because today the Spartans will host No. 9 East Lyme (17-4) in a second-round game.
“I’m a little nervous because the farther we go, the harder the teams are going to be, but I’m pretty confident,” finished a smiling Cantres.
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