Softball: St. Joe's Payton Doiron no hits Trumbull in FCIAC final
FAIRFIELD — St. Joseph’s Payton Doiron could be excused for not being fully aware of how dominant her no-hit pitching performance was when the No 1-seeded Cadets defeated cross-town rival and No. 2 seed Trumbull, 1-0, in the FCIAC championship game at Sacred Heart University on Friday.
Afterall, Doiron had walked the bases loaded in the first inning. She got out of that jam, and then let her defense help retire 19 consecutive batters.
“I got it out of my system, stayed confident, and relied on my defense,” said Doiron, a right-handed junior.“I like to think one batter at a time and try not to get to ahead of myself. That kept me distracted (from thinking about the no-no). The defense always has my back.”
St. Joseph finished 19-0 in FCIAC play. Coach Jeff Babineau’s squad will take the No. 1 seed and a 23-0 record into the Class L state tournament.
Trumbull is 17-2 in the FCIAC and 21-2 overall. Coach Jacqui Sheftz’ Eagles are seeded No. 2 in Class LL.
The Cadets broke through in an unexpected fashion in the bottom of the second inning.
Brittany Mairano lined a drive up the gap that eluded the dive of Alexa Adinolfi in right-center field. Claire Gardella droved in her sophomore classmate with a double to the same spot. Doiron and company had everything it needed.
“Brittany and Claire from the bottom of the batting order swung big bats,” Babineau said. “To get one past Alexa in center field...Well, it was so hit hard. It needed to be because she is a phenomenal fielder. She stole hits away the first time we played them (a 2-1 extra-inning win) and again today.”
St. Joe’s shortstop Maddie Fitzgerald came up with the defensive gem of the game with one out in the Trumbull sixth.
The Eagles’ Maggie Coffin choked up on her bat and used a butcher boy swing to loft a liner toward left field. Fitzgerald’s great first step put her in a position to make the catch. She held on, while going face first into the turf at Pioneer Park.
Doiron jumped into the air and tapped her glove repeatedly after the putout.
Trumbull saw an opportunity go by the board in its first at bat.
Julia Huzi walked on a 3-2 pitch to open the game. A popped-up sacrifice bunt attempt was followed by an infield fly for out number two. But then Cassie Barbato and Charlee Horton each drew walks on 3-1 counts. Doiron recovered and put the third out in the books with one of her five strikeouts.
We had the bats in our hands first and that was a great opportunity,” Sheftz said. “We had trouble hitting the ball on the ground and we had 11 fly outs. That’s Payton doing her job. It was a great defensive game by both teams.”
St. Joe’s Kiley Barbagallo roamed behind first base to glove Adinolfi’s bid for a base hit in the fourth. The Cadets’ Paige Hunter got a good jump and caught Jenna Duffy’s fly ball behind shortstop in the fifth.
St. Joe’s stranded runners in every inning, but the fourth and sixth, because Trumbull right-hander Kenzie Bruggeman got the key outs. She struck out four, walked one, and scattered four hits after the decisive second.
The Eagles' Huzi made a fine play at shortstop to end the fourth with a runner on third.
Horton had two hits. Alyssa Noce, Mairano and Gardella had one each
Doiron took care of the last out when she gloved Kiley Barbagallo’s comeback and made the short toss to Cadet captain Kaitlin Capobianco for the final out.
“After the first inning, I talked with Payton and told her to let the game come to her,” Babineau said. “She settled in nicely. Our defense did its job and that let her pitch stress free.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
St. Joe’s Payton Doiron pitched a no-hitter and struck out four. That she walked three batters in the first inning and escaped unscathed against a top-ranked team like Trumbull was remarkable.
.“I like to think one batter at a time and try not to get to ahead of myself. That kept me distracted (from thinking about the no-no). The defense always has my back.” — St. Joseph’s Payton Doiron
ST. JOSEPH 1, TRUMBULL 0
TRUMBULL 000 000 0—0 0 0
ST. JOSEPH 010 000 0—1 5 0
Batteries: Trumbull-Kenzie Bruggeman (LP) and Cassie Barbato; St. Joseph-Payton Doiron (WP) and Charlee Horton
Records: Trumbull (17-2 FCIAC, 21-2); St. Joseph (19-0 FCIAC, 23-0)