Cadets team up to take it to Tigers
Coach Jeff Babineau’s St. Joseph High softball team is off to a good start this season, earning victories on Thursday and Friday to finish out the first week of competition with a 2-1 record.
“Today was our home opener, so it was nice to get this win and finish out the week on a high note,” Babineau said after his team’s 12-0 win over Ridgefield on Friday.
“We’ve had a good run these past few years, but we’ve fallen just short of winning states, so it’s good to get the season started on a positive tone.
“We had a good day today, the weather was nice, and it’s a good way to end our week and start our season.”
The Cadets made short work of visiting Ridgefield on Friday, earning the mercy-rule victory in a five-inning game.
After junior Tori Ceballos worked a one-two-three top of the first on the mound, St. Joseph took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the frame.
Lauren Pitney was hit by a pitch and Lauren Blose worked a walk to put runners on first and second.
Pitney scored on an infield groundout by Michaela Mallozzi.
Ceballos yielded only a walk in the top of the second, and St. Joseph’s offense was at it again in the bottom of the inning.
Ceballos led off with a single to left, Amy Chacho walked and a hit by pitch by Katie Gardella loaded the bases with no outs.
Senior Kristin Markarian grounded out to third, knocking in a run, and Pitney followed with an RBI groundout to second.
The Cadets now had two outs and a runner on third, but they were not yet finished.
Blose knocked a solid single to left-center, scoring Gardella, and Blose crossed the plate shortly thereafter on a double by Mallozzi.
St. Joseph ended the second inning with a comfortable 5-0 lead.
Ceballos worked a quick top of the third, and the Cadets added another pair of runs in the bottom of the third.
Senior Kristen Chacho and Ceballos walked and singled, respectively, and Chacho scored on a double smashed to the left-field fence by her younger sister, Amy.
Samantha Errico, pinch-running for Ceballos, advanced to third on the double by Chacho and scored on a groundout by Markarian.
The score was 7-0 by the end of the third inning, and the Cadets kept piling on the runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Blose walked and advanced to second on a shot back to the pitcher by Mallozzi, but it was a one-out, 0-2 pitch to Jenn Vazquez that erased any doubt as to whose game it was.
The Manhattan College-bound senior smashed a two-run home run, stretching the Cadets’ lead to 9-0.
Ceballos singled and scored, and Jenna Carrano, batting for Gardella, walked and scored in the frame, and St. Joseph closed out the inning with an 11-0 lead.
St. Joseph needed one more run to win the game on the mercy rule, and they had no trouble procuring it.
In for Mallozzi, Sam Platz led off with a single and moved to second on an error.
With one out, Kristen Chacho connected for a double to center field, scoring Platz and sealing the deal on St. Joseph’s 12-0 victory.
“Tori did a great job for us today, she was hitting the spots really well,” Babineau said of his starter, who threw five innings and allowed only three hits while striking out eight.
“We’re in a position to do well this year,” Babineau added. “Our hitting is strong, our pitching goes deep, and our defense is good.
“We also do a lot of things with them,” he said, noting the importance of team cohesion. “We have a lot of off-the-field events that help us bond as a team...We host dinners and these things really help us to come together both on the field and off.
“We practice and work to win championships, and we always remind the girls of the tradition they come from.”
St. Joseph lost its season opener in 11 innings by a 4-3 margin to host Newtown High.
Vasquez had two doubles and drove in two runs. Ceballos had two hits.
April 12 Westhill, 4
April 15 Darien, 4
April 17 at Harding, 4
April 22 at Stamford, 4
April 24 St. Joseph, 3:45
April 26 McMahon, 4
April 29 at Central, 4