Softball: St. Joseph stuns Trumbull in quarterfinals

Payton Doiron showed up for St. Joseph High’s first softball practice hoping to impress coach Jeff Babineau.

A right-handed freshman pitcher, Doiron aced her audition as it were and steadily progressed throughout the season, as did her teammates.

Doiron, on her biggest stage yet, shut out Trumbull High on four hits when the fifth-seeded Cadets defeated the fourth-seeded Eagles 11-0 in the FCIAC quarterfinals on Friday.

St. Joseph (12-8, 12-5 FCIAC) advances to the semifinals on Monday, where they will meet top-seeded Westhill High (18-3, 16-1 FCIAC) in the 5 p.m. second game of the doubleheader at Pioneer Park on the campus of Sacred Heart University.

Prior the game, Babineau was hoping for continued strong hitting from his club, but more importantly a neater sheet in the scorebook from Doiron, who lost to Trumbull 6-1 in the regular season when five base on balls haunted the Cadets.

“In the beginning of year, weren’t hitting, its the opposite right now,” Babineau, whose team has posted multiple 10-plus outings down the stretch.

"We're playing very well right now. We received contributions throughout the order and had hits in key spots. I know they are very talented over there (Trumbull: 16-5, 13-4 FCIAC), but we came out firing.

“That’s a freshman (Doiron) out there. Yes, she let the leadoff batters on in the first three innings (two walks and a hit batter), but she settled down. I’m very happy for her.”

Trumbull coach Jacqui Sheftz said, “We just didn’t show up today. You have to tip your cap to St. Joe’s. They came out aggressive with the bats and didn’t let up. That’s what championship programs do.

"Their pitcher threw very well today, she hit her spots. The way we played was uncharacteristic of how we played our first twenty games.”

Doiron gave up singles in each of the last four innings, but kept each from scoring. She struck out four, walked three and hit two batters.

“I know that they always have my back if I mess up,” Doiron said of the veteran team behind her. "I know that (giving up walks) is bad and I had to shake it off. As long as you stay focused (with a lead) that’s good. Jovanna (Hillman) is an amazing catcher and such a help.”

St. Joseph scored a run on three hits in the first inning off Ally Szabo, with Hillman getting the RBI.

The Cadets showed the ability to rise to the occasion and add on runs in the next two frames.

Hanna Errico singled home two runs in a four-run second, which was fueled by two of six Eagle errors.

In the third, Hillman doubled and crossed the plate on Came Heintz’ two-out single through the hole and into right field.

Five of St. Joseph’s 14 hits saw batters stay back and take the pitch the other way.

Kaitlin Capobianco singled with two outs in the fifth to score Kayla Giacobbe, who singled to open the inning.

Melissa Bike (double) and Giacobbe had RBI hits in a three-run sixth that took the score to 11-0.

Taylor Brown, Alexa Adinolfi, Szabo and Delilha DeStefano had the Trumbull hits.

When asked if her team was ready to turn the page on the loss, Sheftz said, “In high school softball there is three seasons, you have your regular season, you have conference playoffs and then you have states.

"We don’t have a choice, we have to take a deep breathe and start preparing for the third season (the Class LL tourney).”