By Vickie Fulkerson
Publication: The Day
Shelton - After a summer of making defensive plays that belied their age group, skipping going to the beach to take batting practice and car ride after lengthy car ride, the season came to end Tuesday for the Pawcatuck-North Stonington Little League softball (11-12) team.
Seymour won the best-of-three state championship series with a 3-1 victory in the final game, getting only six hits off Pawcatuck pitcher Kendra Perez, but making every one of them count.
Seymour advanced to the New England bracket of the Eastern Region tournament in Bristol, while Pawcatuck finished the season 11-3, having won District 10 and Connecticut Section II titles.
"We've been waiting for this for three years now," said leadoff hitter and second baseman Colette Dreher, speaking of Pawcatuck's two previous runner-up finishes in District 10, one in the 9-10 division and one in 11-12. "We were all in it to win it pretty much."
"It was a great group of kids we were able to spend a wonderful summer with," Pawcatuck manager Tom Lennon said. "Every game they did everything we asked. I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my summer so far."
Seymour jumped on Pawcatuck with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning, capitalizing on two hits and two errors and sending seven batters to the plate.
Pawcatuck pulled within 2-1 in the top of the second when Abby Flakus walked, was sacrificed to second by Dani Coan and scored on an RBI single down the first base line by Briana Beverly. Pawcatuck also got singles from the first two batters in the third inning, Perez and Dreher, but was unable to take advantage of what felt like good momentum, stranding the runners on second and third on a strikeout, a fly ball and a popup to first base.
After that the momentum belonged to Seymour pitcher Jenna Geffert, who allowed five hits, struck out the side in order in a dominant fourth and got an athletic, running catch from center fielder Ivy Geloso to start the fifth inning, robbing Gabby Dellacono of a hit.
Pawcatuck got singles by Trinity Lennon and Lainnie Connor with one out in the sixth, but ran into an out trying to get the pair into scoring position.
Seymour, the Section I champion, won the first game of the series on Sunday, 7-3, before Pawcatuck evened things with a 5-2 victory Monday, getting four innings of relief from Lennon who preserved an early lead.
On Tuesday, it was Seymour's turn to start quickly.
"We would be doing good and then we'd make a little mistake, but it would have a big impact," Dreher said.
"We did the same thing to them (Monday)," Tom Lennon said. "We scored five runs with five hits. Both teams did a good job producing with what they got, being efficient with a minimal amount of hits. It was a 3-1 ballgame. I predicted it would be 3-2, 4-2 either way."