TORRINGTON — In a season full of blow-out games helping almost no one, it’s refreshing when one like Torrington’s 5-2 win over St. Paul Catholic Wednesday afternoon helps almost everyone.
The Falcons are one of many area teams finding themselves full of youth and inexperience after COVID’s year without spring sports.
“We have just one senior who’s played since her freshman year,” said St. Paul coach Gary Hovhanessian, explaining a good program’s 4-11 record in a sea of youth and inexperience.
On the other hand, fortunate coaches finding happy surprises landing in their midst straight from middle school experience is almost as common.
Torrington freshman pitcher/hitter Aubrie Jones arrived with more confidence than some seniors, boosting it through six no-hit innings before St. Paul’s Catie Wootton laced a clean single through the right side gap with one out in the top of the seventh.
Sophomore Lexi Irazabal knocked Wootton in with St. Paul’s second and final hit and the final score after the Falcons scored an unearned run in the sixth on three Torrington errors by substitutes gaining experience.
Unfazed, Jones shrugged off Wootton’s no-no buster.
“It was a good hit,” Jones said.
Jones (6 innings, 10 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 hit batter) could afford the nonchalance because her youthful teammates, now 6-5, built her a 5-0 lead in the first three innings — two runs in the first and three more in the third.
Shalyn Neary went 3-for-3 with two runs scored, Jones batted in two runs; Amelia Broulli had a two-run double; and Rachel Brewer-Karimi had another double among Torrington’s eight hits against St. Paul’s Gillian Smith (6 innings, 4 strikeouts, 0 walks).
Even so, two perfect bunt singles stood out among the other hits in a game of valuable experience on both sides.
“(Bunting) is something we’ve been looking at,” said Raider coach Sarah Arburr, buoyed in her team confidence by a 10-0 win at St. Paul last month. “They were part of our game play today.”
“We spent a whole practice on it,” smiled Neary after the practice paid off in a perfect bunt down the third base line in the first inning.
“It’s hard. You’ve got to get it in just the right spot,” said Brianna Murelli, who did it in the third.
Each bunt led to a run. Each of the multiple errors on each side, mostly by young and inexperienced players, are certain to lead to surer plays down the road.
TORRINGTON 5, ST. PAUL 2
ST. PAUL 000 001 1 — 2 2 3
TORRINGTON 203 000 X — 5 8 4
WP: Aubrie Jones. LP: Gillian Smith. 2B: T — Rachel Brewer-Karimi; Amelia Boulli.
Records: St. Paul 4-11. Torrington 6-5.
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