Softball: St. Joseph loses to Seymour in Class M semis

The St. Joseph softball team had its opportunities to put up some big numbers, but it was Seymour High that got the big hits when the No. 4 Wildcats defeated the No. 17 Cadets by a score of 6-3 in the Class M semifinals at DeLuca Field in Stratford on Wednesday night.

Seymour (25-2) will play No. 7 North Branford (22-5) for the title at 4 p.m. Saturday at Biondi Field in West Haven.

St. Joseph closed its season at 16-10.

”We threw our best at them, that’s all we can ask of them,” coach Jeff Babineau said. “Its two real good teams, lot of great athletes on both sides. You leave runners on base (1-for 16 with runners in scoring position) that’s a killer. You get a couple of hits it’s another ball game.”

Clinging to a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth, Seymour received  a clutch two-out single by Shari Minalga to double their advantage to 6-3.

“Our senior captain Minalga had two at bats that were huge,” Seymour coach Ken Pereiras said. “It seemed like they had a leadoff runner on base every inning. She (Molly Adamo) made big pitches and got people out. So, it’s a combination of her great pitching and our timely hitting (4 for 7 with runners in scoring position.”

Seymour took a 2-0 lead in its first at bat with Chelsea Avila singling in a run off of Cadet starter Payton Doiron and another scoring on a strikeout-passed ball.

St. Joseph got one back in the second on Allie Petronchak’s bases-loaded walk off Seymour starter Jenna Geffert.

Jovanna Hillman’s leadoff homer to dead center tied the game in the top of the third.

When Kayla Giacobbe followed with a double up the gap in right-center, Pereiras brought Molly Adamo on in relief.

The sophomore got out of that jam.

Petronchak led off the fourth and Hillman the fifth with doubles, but neither came around to score as Adamo left both at third.

Doiron retired seven straight batters before Caitlyn O’Hara singled off the freshman’s glove to begin a two-run rally in the fifth.

Hillman threw her out trying to steal, but a walk and back-to-back doubles from Minalga and Beca Findley gave the Wildcats a 4-2 lead.

Cat Connell came on in relief after the second two-bagger and the sophomore left runners on second and third.

St. Joseph made it 4-3 in the sixth.

Julia Basso singled to start things off.

Hannah Hutchison singled her to third with one out, and Melissa Bike broke the team’s 0-for-14 skein with runners in scoring position with an RBI infield single into the hole at shortstop.

A walk loaded the bases before an infield pop ended the rally.

“They are a great program, they have great players, a great coaching staff,” Pereiras said. “For a team that plays LL and L schools all year, even though their record to get in (12-8) wasn’t great, we knew they would be a tough team to beat.”