The Avon 12-and-under girls softball team defeated Windsor 5-4 on Oct. 25 to win the end-of-season Fall Tournament. The win maintained the girls' undefeated streak this season.
The championship game versus Windsor was action-packed and represented two teams playing very hard for the win. Avon was the visiting team and got off to a quick two-run lead as Paige Noland drove in two runs with a single scoring Ellie Whittey and Sam Luby. Windsor responded in the bottom of the first with a four-run inning to take the 4-2 lead after one.
Other teams may have folded, but this season several players including Natalie Noland and Jordan Blackinton rallied the team in the dug-out to fight back and keep playing hard to win the game.
Aimee Carrier lead off the second inning with a single, stole second base then advanced to third as Julia Setter moved the runner with a fielder choice to the right side of the infield. Maddie Carlone then had abase hit to right field and Avon cut the lead to 4-3. Avon’s starting pitcher, Jillian Haworth, went on to shut Windsor out in both the second and third innings with a combined four strike-outs facing only seven batters.
Offensively, Avon struck again in the third inning as Colette Slatis lead the inning off with a walk and stolesecond then scored on Sam Luby’s RBI single. Windsor’s defense tightened and Avon tied the game 4-4 but left the bases loaded. Paige Noland entered the game as Avon’s pitcher in the fourth inning with the score tied at 4-4 and did not give up another run in the next three innings.Breanne Braun started the fifth inning with a walk and a steal and advanced to third as Amanda Branch hit perfectly to the right side. After a strike out with two outs, Breanne stole home just barely beating a great play at the plate by the Windsor battery. Avon regained the lead 5-4.
In the bottom of the fifth, Windsor loaded the bases with two outs. Paige Noland struck out the Windsor batter to preserve the lead 5-4. Avon was stymied in the top half of the sixth and the game moved to the bottom of the sixth inning with Avon holding only a one-run advantage facing the top of the Windsor batting order.
After back-to-back strike outs to start the inning, Windsor got a base hit and with two successive pitches advanced their runner to third. Their number three hitter was at-bat and ahead 2-0 in the count with the tying runner on third. In the first inning, she had put Windsor on the board with a two-run double. In an at-bat that featured 11 pitches and both the batter and battery working very hard, she hit a hard grounder up the middle where Avon shortstop, Ellie Whittey, moved fast to her left to field the ball and throw her out by a step at first.
Avon won the game and achieved their goal of finishing the fall season undefeated!