Pinkerton girls deal Alvirne first setbackBy JOE DUBALL
New Hampshire Union Leader
April 23. 2018 10:41PM
HUDSON — The Pinkerton Academy softball team opted for a less-than-flashy approach at the plate to capture an 8-6 triumph over previously unbeaten Alvirne on Monday.
The Astros (5-1) posted 10 hits, but only half of them made it to the outfield and not one was an extra-base hit. Pinkerton swapped booming hits for small ball, which wreaked havoc on the Broncos (3-1) throughout the contest. Six Alvirne errors led to five Pinkerton runs, including two in a four-run fifth inning that gave the Astros a lead for good.
“With small ball, we are firm believers that it can win a game,” Pinkerton coach Kristen Abbott said. “It’s especially tough here (at Alvirne), where you see the ball take a few turns sometimes (in the infield). That makes reading the ball difficult for a fielder. Not only do I have some batters that are quick and can take advantage of that, but they also just know how to get the job done.”
The most costly of Alvirne’s miscues came on a single by Pinkerton’s Bri Janulewicz with two runners on in the fifth. The ball rolled through the Alvirne outfielder and to the fence, bringing home both runners and making it 5-3 Astros. Amanda Lindquist and Dani St. Peter rounded out the four-run fifth with a sacrifice bunt and a bloop single.
The Broncos cut the deficit to 7-6 in the bottom of the fifth before shooting themselves in the foot defensively again in the sixth. Mattie Sullivan reached on an infield single to lead off the inning for the Astros and eventually scored on the Broncos’ final error, an overthrow on an attempted sacrifice bunt.
“We had been playing really well and this was the first game we really made costly errors in,” Alvirne coach Sarah Brisk said. The Broncos also made three errors that led to two Pinkerton runs in the second inning. “I talked to the girls about really just learning from this. It’s early in the season and I just want them to stay together as a team after something like this.”
Hannah Sundberg’s topped Pinkerton’s offense with three hits and a run scored while Sullivan and Alyssa DiMauro each had a pair of singles. Jacey Bryant had two hits and two RBIs for Alvirne, which got three hits and a run scored from Jenna Bradish.
The Broncos tried to come back in the sixth and seventh but were thwarted by Pinkerton reliever Alyssa Ouellette and the Astros defense. The Astros stranded three Broncos over the final two frames with four strikeouts from Ouellette and a leaping catch by second baseman Ellie Cashman, which came with two runners on in the seventh. Cashman and St. Peter, Pinkerton’s first baseman, were called up from Pinkerton’s JV club for Monday’s game with the Astros dealing with injuries.
“They’re athletic enough and just true softball players,” Abbott said of her defense, which made no errors on Monday. “They’re just coming up, but they’re confident in what they do. But with Ellie, that was probably a game-saving play.”