The West Haven softball team got clutch pitching from Ivy Santos, who threw a four-hitter, allowing only one run in a 4-1 victory over the Norwalk Bears in the first round of the CIAC playoffs on Tuesday afternoon in Norwalk. The Blue Devils got two runs in the top of the fourth inning when Kasey Marron and Dianesse Rodriquez each reached on singles and moved up to second and third on a wild pitch. Ashlynn O’Keefe then laced a single to left field that scored Marron and Rodriquez, who sped home and slid under the tag at the plate for a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth inning, the Westies were at it again when Marron walked was moved to second on a sacrifice and then scored on a single by Neve Krajcir to increase the lead to 3-0. Brianna Sebastian re-entered the game and ran for Krajcir. Sebastian was sacrificed to second by O’Keefe and scored when Veronica Lynn ripped a single to make it 4-0.
The Bears threatened in the bottom of the inning but Santos worked into and out of trouble to keep the score 4-0. Norwalk had two runners on base but had a runner caught between third and home to end the inning. The Bears did push one run across the plate in the sixth inning. After a walk, Norwalk got a triple to the wall in right to make it 4-1. But that would be the extent of the Bears’ offense as Kailey Carrano leapt to snare a high chopper and fire across the diamond, where Kasey Marron made a spectacular stretch and scoop to end the inning. Santos shut Norwalk down with an easy 1-2-3 seventh inning to secure the victory. Makenna White and Santos each had two hits to lead West Haven.
With the victory, the Blue Devils earned a trip to Storrs to take on the #4 seeded E.O. Smith Panthers on Wednesday afternoon. The Westies struck first when Veronica Lynn singled was moved to second by Kailey Carrano and came around to score on a single by Makenna White to make it 1-0 in the top of the first inning. The Panthers threatened in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases but, starting pitcher Ivy Santos worked out of trouble, keeping E.O. Smith off the board. The girls added to their lead in the second inning when Kasey Marron singled, Dianesse Rodriguez dropped down a bunt that was fielded and thrown wide of first, allowing Marron and Rodriguez to advance to second and third base. Brianna Sebastian then dropped down another bunt and when the play was made at first base, Marron sped home to make it 2-0.
E.O. Smith scored a run in the bottom of the second inning, added another in the bottom of the third and then took a 4-2 lead in the fourth inning. Kasey Marron then relived Santos in the circle for West Haven.
The Westies threatened in the top of the fifth inning when Veronica Lynn tripled to the fence in left-center but was stranded there. In the sixth inning, Makenna White doubled, Michelle Madar ran for White and was advanced to third on Morgan Peryer’s single to put runners at first and third. Peryer was caught stealing but Marron was able to deliver Madar with a base hit to make it 4-3. The Panthers responded with a run in the bottom of the inning to reestablish their two-run cushion at 5-3.
The Blue Devils looked like they had one, more rally in them in the seventh inning. Neve Krajcir pinch hit for Brianna Sebastian and drew a walk to start the inning. Sebastian reentered the game as a runner. Veronica Lynn then singled with one out. The runners advanced on a wild pitch to put two runs in scoring position. The Panthers wanted no part of power hitting catcher, Makenna White and intentionally walked her to load the bases for Morgan Peryer. The Westies were hoping for a repeat of the East Haven game, when the Easties intentionally walked White and Peryer delivered the game winning hit. After fouling off several pitches, Peryer lined the ball to right field but, the Panthers’ outfielder snared the ball, while running toward the line, ending the game and the season for West Haven.