Softball: Defensive gems stem the tide

Shelton’s High defense did all it could on Monday when the Gaelettes played host to Sacred Heart Academy in an SCC softball game.

The locals had trouble putting the ball in play as the Sharks returned home with a 9-0 decision. SHA is 9-9 and Shelton 5-13.

“Today, we did not hit the ball well,” Shelton coach Joanne Desrochers said. “It’s tough because to give them a free ride (11 walks) is hard to bounce back from.”

Sharks’ pitcher Bernadette Kingsbury allowed only two hits and struck out 10, as the locals had trouble timing the talented right-hander’s change-up.

Shelton’s defense made plenty of fine plays, including twice turning hard hit balls into double plays.

SHA (9-9) scored a run in the first and second innings before sending three runners across in the third off starter Sara Rivera.

With a run in and the bases loaded in the first, Emily Renkowsky snared Amanda Savinelli’s low liner and stepped on third base to end the rally.

In the second, SHA made it 2-0 before Jillian Komornik raced into right-center field and stretched out fully to rob Ally Kirck of extra bases. She whirled and fired to Maggie Carlucci at second to double off Abby McDonald, who had doubled home a run.

It was 5-0 SHA and the bags full when Carlucci went to her left and came up with Kirck’s grounder. She regained her feet and threw her out to end the inning.

The Sharks picked up four of their 10 hits in a five-run fifth-inning rally.

Jackie Turiano in left field slowed the momentum when she turned a ball hit in front of her into a fielder’s choice out at third base.

With the bases loaded, Kayla Krigsman in right made a sliding catch and Rivera followed with a strikeout.

The defensive gems continued into the sixth inning.

Jenna Bennett at shortstop ranged far to her left to catch Lauren Fitzgerald’s bid for a base hit up the middle. With a runner aboard, the sophomore turned two ground balls into putouts at second base.

Bryana Heuser singled to right-center for Shelton’s first hit with two out in the third, but Krijgsman, who had led off the frame with a walk, was thrown out at home. Carlucci had walked with two outs to put two runners aboard.

Bennett was Shelton’s first base runner after she walked and stole second with one out in the second. She was stranded, as Kingsbury posted three strikeouts in the inning.

Carlucci bunted her way on base with one out in the sixth. Kingsbury hit Heuser with a pitch and then struck out the next two batters.

Madison Katinger came on to pitch the last two innings, stranding three runners.

She pinch hit to start the fifth and fouled off six pitches after falling behind in the count 2-0. The senior worked it to 3-2 before Kingsbury froze her with a change up.