No. 3 St. Joseph walks off against town rival Trumbull

TRUMBULL — St. Joseph’s Lauren Wasikowski hit a two-out, RBI double off the fence in right field in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 4-3 victory over town and FCIAC softball rival Trumbull at the Dalling Sports Complex on Wednesday.

St. Joseph, now 12-0, is ranked third in the latest GameTimeCT Top 10 poll. Trumbull, which had won five straight dips to 9-4.

“It was great to walk off a game (with a win). I’ve never done that before. I’m proud of the way my team fought today until the end,” said Wasikowski, who drove in Maddy Fitzgerald (walk) from second.

St. Joseph’s Janelli Pratt hit a home run to dead center leading off the seventh and tying the game 3-3.

Pratt’s homer was one of many game-changing moments.

Trumbull’s Liane Weaver singled to left field to score two runs for a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh. Her hit came with two outs off a 1-2 pitch.

At shortstop, Fitzgerald saved two runs from scoring in the fourth to maintain a 2-1 lead. Kiley Barbagallo hit a liner over second base that Fitzgerald made a running, outstretched catch on.

St. Joseph third baseman Coco Bartone threw out Mackenzie Bruggeman at home in the first inning.

“We were putting the ball in play (only two strikeouts). They had some good at bats against Lauren. She battled. We backed her up in the end,” St. Joseph coach Jeff Babineau said.

The first three runs in the game came on fielder’s choice grounders.

St. Joseph’s lead-off batter Niamh Dougherty walked to open the first and third. She scored on RBI groundouts by Jill Guilfoyle and Brittany Mairano.

Trumbull made it 2-1 in the fourth. CC Cummings and Becca Sexton singled with one out. Caroline Hall grounded the ball to Riley McDermott at first. Cummings slid home safely.

Trumbull’s Cassi Barbato had a single and a double to lead a seven-hit attack. Bruggeman allowed two hits through six innings. Wasikowski struck out 10, stranding nine runners.

“I’m glad we were able to play in a playoff-game atmosphere like this,” Trumbull coach Jacqui Sheftz said. “We rose to the occasion. I’m proud of progress from Game 1 (a 12-0 loss to St. Joe’s) until today. Now we will look to get as many wins as we can to position ourselves in the best possible scenario come playoff time. We’ve grown up a lot. We were here to compete. We are not going away.”

FCIAC playdowns begin on Friday, May 21 at higher seeds.

Trumbull has three wins by three runs or less. It had four games where it scored in double digits. Trumbull’s other losses were 15-5 to No. 6 Ludlowe and 3-2 to Staples.

St. Joseph had posted eight shutouts. They had allowed only four runs on the season. They had scored in double figures in seven games.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Lauren Wasikowski had the game-winning hit. The junior struck out 10 batters and left runners in scoring position in six of seven innings.

QUOTABLE

“It was a great at bat for Janelli Pratt. She is a freshman, so it was great to see her come through in such a big spot.”—Lauren Wasikowski

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354

ST. JOSEPH 4, TRUMBULL 3

TRUMBULL 000 100 2—3 7 2

ST. JOSEPH 103 000 2—4 4 0

BATTERIES: T—Mackenzie Bruggeman and Cassi Barbato; SJ—Lauren Wasikowski and Niamh Dougherty

RECORDS: Trumbull 9-4, St. Joseph 12-0