This was almost a good game. Well, let’s not go nuts here: Surely if you’re a Foran fan you loved it under any circumstances, and when things end up 8-0, it’s hard to say this wasn’t going in a direction.
But it was almost a scoreless game after three innings. Ashley Petit of Mercy had two outs and a runner, Alyssa Puccilli, on second after Puccilli’s bunt single and an Ashley Mendillo sacrifice.
Problem for Petit was that Dani Kemp stood in her way. Kemp deposited a 2-1 pitch over the left-field wall.
Foran 2, Mercy 0. You don’t want to say “ballgame,” but, um, ballgame.
“(Kemp, a freshman catcher) has done it all year long,” Foran coach Jeff Bevino said. “She’s strong. … She’s going to be something to be reckoned with. And how about that throw in the first inning? That girl (Steph Mangiamelli, whom Kemp caught stealing) ain’t slow.”
So it was 2-0, but then Foran gets three more two-out hits, a liner to right by Marissa Bruno and singles up the middle from Gina Georgetti and Fallon Bevino, and it’s 3-0.
While we’re on defense: Jess Harkness struck out 15. This has apparently become pretty routine. She walked three, but only one ball made it to the outfield, a flyout. The other five outs were the caught-stealing, a foul popup behind the plate that Kemp made a nice play on, and three ground balls. “We’re not getting a chance to show how good we are defensively,” Jeff Bevino said with a grin.
Foran broke it open sending 10 to the plate in the fourth. The Lions had made it 4-0 on three one-out hits, but Mercy got a second out at third base. Then a comedy of errors began. Well, two errors, a wild pitch, a passed ball and a couple of more hits. All of a sudden it was 8-0, and the Lions could start counting down the outs.
Pop quiz: Mangiamelli was: (a) the freshman who had the only two Mercy hits, one a liner off the tip of the outstretched glove of the third baseman, the other a bunt; (b) the target of a Foran alignment in which the shortstop and second baseman played even with the pitcher while the corner infielders stayed back, which almost produced the routine 6-3 putout on a bunt five feet away from the plate (she beat it out); (c) one of the best names around; (d) all of the above.
Note that may only impress me: Foran and Law moved from the SWC to the SCC for 2004-05, and this is the first time either of them has made a softball final.
So it’s Amity-Foran on Saturday night at 6 at Biondi Field in West Haven. You know Chris Everone will have it in pristine condition. See you there.