West Haven coach Joe Morrell could not have envisioned the type of start his West Haven softball team would have. Like any team, there were questions to be answered as the season began.
Morrell sure likes the answers nine games in. After sweeping Lyman Hall home and away this past week, West Haven improved to 9-0 and qualified for the postseason. With 11 regular season games to go, the message is clear.
West Haven wants to win as many games as possible to secure home field and high seeds in both the Southern Connecticut Conference and state tournaments. The Westies would also like to remain undefeated.
The road to the ninth consecutive victory sure did not start the way West Haven would have liked, but Thursday morning’s contest against Lyman Hall ended just the same as West Haven’s initial eight games and that was with a victory.
Rallying from a four-run deficit with three runs in the bottom of the first inning, three more in the third, and five in the sixth, West Haven defeated Lyman Hall for the second straight day by a score of 12-5 at Biondi Field in West Haven.
The win, which saw West Haven pound out 12 hits, including two by Veronica Lynn for 100 in her career, raised West Haven’s record to 9-0 on the season.
Lynn also scored four runs, Kailey Carrano had four hits, drove in four and scored twice, Ivy Santos added two hits, drove in a pair and scored twice, and Paige Buerer had two hits and drove in a pair.
Santos was also solid in the pitching circle. The West Haven pitcher allowed eight hits, while striking out seven. Santos did not allow an earned run as the Westies committed four errors.
Trailing 4-0 before they even came to bat, the Westies cut the deficit to one in the bottom of the inning.
Ashlynn O’Keefe reached on a one-out error, Lynn singled, O’Keefe scored on a passed ball, and Lynn scored on a double by Carrano. When Santos reached on an error, Carrano scored, and West Haven was within a run.
The Westies took the lead for good with three runs in the third inning. O’Keefe again started the rally with a single, Lynn reached on an error, and Carrano again doubled to score O’Keefe and Lynn for a 5-4 lead. Santos followed with a single to put runners on the corners, Kasey Marron walked to load the bases, and Buerer singled to score the third run of the inning.
West Haven increased its lead to 7-4 in the fourth as Lynn singled with two outs, Carrano followed with a single to put runners on the corners, and Lynn scored as part of a double steal for a 7-4 advantage.
The Westies put the game away with five more runs in the sixth. O’Keefe reached on a one-out error, Lynn hit into a fielder’s choice to move O’Keefe to second, and Carrano singled to score O’Keefe.
Santos doubled to score Carrano, Dianesse Rodriguez singled to score Santos for an 11-4 lead, and Buerer singled to score Rodriguez for the final run of the inning.
West Haven needed just eight games to reach one of its goals. By defeating Lyman Hall 11-3 in Wallingford Wednesday afternoon, West Haven qualified for the postseason with its eighth straight victory to open the year.
Santos not only had a big day pitching, allowing just one earned run on six hits, while striking out eight and walking two, she came up just as big at the plate. Santos had three hits, drove in five runs and scored one as West Haven led from the start.
The Westies led 2-0 after one, 4-2 after two, 9-2 after four and 11-3 after six.
Lynn had three hits and scored four runs, Morgan Peryer had two hits, drove in two and scored one, while Gigi Perkins added a pair of hits and scored once.
Peryer opened the game with a single to left, moved to second on a sacrifice by O’Keefe, and scored on a single by Lynn. Lynn scored as part of a double steal for a 2-0 advantage.
West Haven took a 4-0 lead in the second. Rodriguez singled with one out, Buerer followed suit, and Peryer followed with a two-run single.
Up by two runs, West Haven increased the margin to three runs in the third. Lynn reached on an error, Santos singled, and Kasey Marron singled to score Lynn.
West Haven added four runs in the fourth to blow the game open as Perkins singled, O’Keefe walked with one out, Lynn singled to load the bases, and Santos hit a grand slam to center.
The Westies capped their scoring in the sixth when Carrano doubled to score Lynn, and Santos singled to score Carrano.
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