GROTON — On Saturday afternoon, the Groton-Dunstable softball team looked to exact a little revenge for how their 2010 season ended. The Lady Crusaders locked horns with Hudson in a rematch of last year’s classic 1-0, 15-inning District final affair. As it was last year, the Lady Hawks proved to be a shade better, getting a two-run single from Jurne Ware to claim a 2-1 victory.
“This was a really good softball game between two really good softball teams,” said Groton-Dunstable coach Derek Asadoorian. “It came down to them getting one more big hit than we did. I thought we played a strong all-around game and took a step in the right direction today.”
Much like last year’s season finale, the game was a pitcher’s duel. Jess O’Sullivan was extremely effective on the hill for the Lady Crusaders, throwing just 72 pitches in going the distance, allowing no earned runs on three hits while walking one and striking out five. Ware was dominant for Hudson, allowing one earned run on four hits while walking none and striking out 14 in the winning effort.
“Jess gave us another solid effort as she has all year long,” said Asadoorian. “She was one pitch away from getting out of the jam in the sixth. Our defense was solid throughout and did a great job of backing her up.”
O’Sullivan breezed through the first four innings, using just 33 pitches to record the first 12 outs, aided by solid defense. In the top of the second, Kendra Boyle singled to lead off the inning, but was doubled off on a great play by third baseman Jackie Ordemann. A popped up bunt attempt was caught by a sliding Ordemann who fired a strike to second baseman Celina Antonellis at first base to double off the runner and end the threat.
In the home half of the second, Groton-Dunstable drew first blood with a clutch two-out hit. Ordemann led off the inning by lining a double into the right centerfield gap. A sacrifice bunt by Kylie Blodgett moved the runner to third. After a strikeout, Sam Gagne finished a seven-pitch at-bat by singling to left, scoring Ordemann and making it a 1-0 game.
The Lady Hawks put together a small threat in the top of the fifth as Allie Carver drew a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jasmine Volpe. With a runner in scoring position for the first time in the game, O’Sullivan ended the threat by recording a strikeout to end the inning.
Hudson eventually broke through in the sixth inning, using small ball to set things up. After a Christie McGraw bunt single to lead off the inning, Jill Codrone dropped a sacrifice bunt to move the runner along and was safe at first on a throwing error. Another bunt moved the runners up to second and third. O’Sullivan then recorded a strikeout for the inning’s second out and quickly went to an 0-2 count on Ware. But Ware was able to slap a single up the middle, scoring both runners and giving the Lady Hawks a 2-1 lead.
Meg McLean led off the home half of the sixth with a slap single as the Lady Crusaders tried to push across the tying run. Ware would not allow it, striking out the side and stranding McLean to end the sixth and then getting a fly out and two more strikeouts in the seventh to close the door and drop Groton-Dunstable to 5-2 on the season.
“We need to be able to create more offense if we are going to be competitive,” said Asadoorian. “It is tough on a day like today when you face a great pitcher, but we need to move runners over and produce runs. Overall, I thought it was a solid team effort and we are headed in the right direction as a team.”