Softball: St Joseph topples Griswold for Class M title

St. Joseph took advantage of every opportunity that came its way when the No. 9 seeded Cadets defeated No. 3 seed Griswold High, 5-2, in the Class M state championship game at West Haven’s Frank Biondi Field on Saturday.

Appearing in its 10th state final and winning for the first time since the 2010 season was a tall task for the locals, who had to face Griswold talented right-handed pitcher Maya Waldron.

A senior, Waldron had thrown a perfect game in beating North Branford in the semifinals. In that contest she struck out 15 batters.

“We told our players to make her throw pitches in our zone,” Babineau said of the Cadets’ eight-hit attack. “We had to stay away from swinging at balls at or above our hands. We got some good swings and took advantage of our opportunities.”

Hannah Hutchison had three hits to earn Connecticut High School Coaches Association game MVP honors.

“Defense and pitching wins championships and Payton (Doiron) was great for us,” Hutchison said. “Their pitcher was very good, and the Granby pitcher (in the semifinals) was very good. We had to play pitch to pitch, inning to inning.

“Having a big lead is good, but any team can come back. Until it’s the last out or the last pitch, that’s when you know you are state champions.”

Brittany Mairano and Hutchison singled back to back with two out in the second inning, and Mairano scored on a misplayed ball off the bat of Maddy Fitzgerald.

St Joseph (23-4) took advantage of two more Wolverine miscues in the fourth to take a 5-0 lead.

Hutchison tripled to right field, again with two out.

Fitzgerald singled her home.

After Kayla Giacobbe reached on an error and Kaitlin Capobianco was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Charlee Horton lined a single up the middle off of Waldron’s glove to score Hutchison.

Allie Petronchak’s long fly ball was misplayed in the outfield and two more runs crossed the plate for a 5-0 lead.

Doiron limited Griswold (26-2) to four hits and walked only one batter through six innings.

The Wolverines got on the board in their final at bat on Kaitlyn Davis’ two-run single.

Doiron, aided by a great catch by Capobianco at first base, left two runners on base with her sixth strikeout to empty the Cadet dugout.

Fitzgerald and Capobianco finished with two hits each.