Unbeaten Saints silence Spartans again

Unbeaten Saints silence Spartans again

Scituate starting pitcher Alison Roy delivers a pitch to the plate during the third inning of last Thursday afternoon’s Division II showdown against St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket. The undefeated Saints snapped the Spartans’ six-game win streak by rolling to a 9-0 victory. (Breeze photos by Kayla Panu)
Scituate’s win streak ends with 9-0 loss to D-II softball rival

PAWTUCKET – The Scituate High softball team suffered only its second loss of the season last Thursday afternoon by a 9-0 score, and the Spartans fell to the same opponent that handed them their first defeat, unbeaten St. Raphael Academy.

SRA freshman pitcher Sami Simonds, who struck out 16 batters and only surrendered three hits in her team’s season-opening 2-0 victory over Scituate on April 9 at Manning Field, came back with another three-hitter in last week’s game at the Hank Soar Complex.

Most fans expected last Thursday’s contest between the Saints (12-0) and Spartans (9-2) to be a rematch of last month’s pitchers’ duel between Simonds and Scituate’s Haley Venturini, who in that game, fired a four-hitter and struck out 18 batters. But Simonds’ opponent on the mound was different, as the Spartans went with their number two pitcher, Alison Roy.

“(Venturini) pitched against South Kingstown on Monday and Bay View on Tuesday,” Scituate head coach John Lickert said. “Her arm was a little tired, so it wasn’t worth it to pitch her three games in four days against three really good teams. We want to make sure she’s fresh at the end of the year, so we had to (rest her) for the team today.”

Offensively, the Spartans had a hit here and there, but only had four runners reach base. The best chance for them to score came in the fourth, as Talia St. Angelo led off with a double to left, and with one out, Roy reached on an error, but Simonds responded with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.

Lexi Parker and Venturini collected the other hits off Simonds, who concluded the game with 15 strikeouts and no walks.

Since the Saints were expecting Venturini to pitch, they had done extra batting practice inside the gym, increasing the speed of their pitching machine. They were a bit off to start the game against Roy, but once they caught up to her, there was no looking back.

“(Roy) kept us in the game,” Lickert added. “We made some mistakes and we didn’t hit the ball. (Simonds) struck out 16 last time against us, and I think she had 16 again. What are you going to do? It’s a different ballgame when she’s not pitching.”

The Saints struck in the bottom of the second for three unearned runs, and after scoring two more runs in the third, the Saints’ bats came alive in the fourth with three singles, a double, and a triple that helped produce their final four runs. Roy lasted 3 1/3 innings and was relieved in the fourth by Erin Costello, who went the rest of the way and didn’t allow any more runs.

Prior to last Thursday’s loss, the Spartans had defeated S.K. by a 10-1 score and Bay View, 5-1, to increase their win streak to six games. In the win over the Rebels, Venturini pitched a superb one-hitter that included 17 strikeouts, and Venturini fanned another 17 batters the following day as she tossed a four-hitter against Bay View.

St. Angelo’s three-hit game and Parker’s bases-clearing double were the offensive highlights in the win over S.K., and Costello collected two doubles and two RBIs and Venturini belted a solo home run in the victory over the Bengals.

The Spartans, who began this week with games at home against Toll Gate and East Greenwich, will visit Tiverton in their next game on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Talia St. Angelo gets ready to turn on a fastball and belt a double to left field in the top of the fourth inning. St. Angelo’s hit was one of three that the Spartans collected in the game.