Scotland Davis led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo home run that gave the Joel Barlow softball team a 5-4 lead over New Milford on Saturday afternoon in Redding.
Eight batters later, Davis returned to the plate and lined an RBI single to left field, capping the six-run rally that lifted Barlow to a 10-4 triumph over the Green Wave.
The Falcons raised their record to 5-1, while New Milford dipped to 3-2.
Barlow ended the game with 13 hits, including two home runs.
“They’ve just been working. They’ve been seeing more live pitching,” said Barlow head coach Craig Sears about his team’s hitters. “I’d say throughout our games we’ve seen good pitching, and repetition is key. They hit every day and they listen to what I’m trying to teach them and now they’re executing it.”
Both teams had the bats working from the get-go.
With two outs in the top of the first inning, New Milford’s Kallie Johnson grounded an RBI single to center field. Olivia Casa then stepped up to the plate next and nailed an RBI triple to right field, giving the Green Wave a quick 2-0 lead.
Barlow went ahead with one swing in the bottom of the first.
Abby Ota led off with a single and went to third on Taylor Macchia’s single. Cleanup hitter Claire McCann then blasted a three-run homer over the left-field fence, putting the Falcons in front, 3-2.
New Milford regained the lead in the top of the third, getting the tying run on a wild pitch and the go-ahead run on Casa’s RBI single.
Barlow loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fourth but was held scoreless following a line-drive double play and a strikeout.
Ota began the bottom of the fifth with a single, stole second, went to third on a groundout, and then scored on McCann’s RBI groundout, tying the game at 4-4.
One inning later, the Falcons went on their six-run rally. Davis’s solo homer was followed by Gabby Tuccinardi’s RBI sacrifice bunt, putting Barlow ahead 6-4. Ota delivered a run-scoring single and Sabrina Lalor added a two-run single, stretching the Falcons’ lead to 9-4.
After McCann singled, Davis came to bat for the second time in the inning and produced an RBI single.
McCann, who relieved starting pitcher Caitlin Colangelo in the fifth inning, then retired New Milford in order in the top of the seventh to end the game.
“There’s a little more pressure because you’re further into the game and there’s not as much time to come back from mistakes,” said McCann (who’s also a starting pitcher) about coming on in relief. “But in the end you just have to do what you’re in there to do.”
The pressure was clearly was no problem for McCann: She held New Milford scoreless and hitless over the final three innings, striking out five batters and walking one.
Notes: Ota went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI. Rebecca Mauro was 3-for-3 with a run scored, and Davis was 3-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs. “I was so excited, words cannot even describe how I’m feeling,” said Davis about her solo homer in the bottom of the sixth.
McCann added two hits and three RBIs for Barlow, while Lalor had a hit and drove in two runs and Macchia had a hit and an RBI.