Spellman helps Waterford advance to ECC softball final

Waterford's Katelyn Haff slides home safely with the game's only run to give the Lancers a 1-0 win over Fitch in Thursday's ECC tournament quarterfinal game.
Waterford's Katelyn Haff slides home safely with the game's only run to give the Lancers a 1-0 win over Fitch in Thursday's ECC tournament quarterfinal game.

Griswold - Megan Spellman spent the day overcoming everything that's conspired against her and against the Waterford High School softball team this season.

The fact that the final innings of a Thursday doubleheader for the Lancers were on the field at Griswold High School, where one of the Lancers' most recent losses came in the rain, wasn't lost on Spellman. Especially since it happened to teeming rain once again.

"This field and me and rain doesn't like to click," Spellman said at the end.

Yet Spellman clicked just fine in her first two career Eastern Connecticut Conference tournament games as Waterford's ace starting pitcher.

Spellman allowed just three hits in two games, lifting the fourth-seeded Lancers into the championship game scheduled for 7 tonight at Griswold. The four-time defending tournament champion, Waterford scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to beat No. 5 Fitch 1-0 in the quarterfinals and unloaded for five runs in the sixth inning to eliminate top-seeded Stonington 6-0 in the semifinals in a game which was called due to rain after six innings.

The Lancers' opponent is yet to be determined. No. 2 East Lyme, which beat No. 7 St. Bernard 7-0 in the quarterfinals, rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie No. 3 Griswold 5-5 in the semifinals, but the game was delayed by rain with two outs, according to East Lyme coach Judy Deeb. When the umpires wanted to resume after some field maintenance was done, Deeb said Griswold coach Rick Arremony did not allow his team to return to the field.

ECC tournament by-laws, Deeb said, state that the score of a suspended game reverts back to the score of the last completed inning (Griswold was leading 5-2 after six), but the umpires wanted to resume and Deeb said Arremony refused.

ECC chair Jan Voland of Plainfield, when reached late Thursday night, said a decision on the game will be made this morning by the league's executive committee.

As for Waterford, Spellman (10-3) pitched a one-hitter with five strikeouts and no walks in avenging a 1-0 loss to Fitch on May 16, exactly one week ago.

She had two strikeouts and one walk against Stonington, a team she no-hit last week.

"My blood was still pumping," said Spellman of the Lancers' bus ride from home, where they won their first game, to Griswold for the semifinal game.

"It was two of the best teams in the conference we're playing," Waterford coach Liz Sutman said. "She's pitched a lot of games in the last week and a half. It's a lot to be up to those two games. Megan pitched awesome."

Julia Zawacki drove in the winning run in the first victory of the day for Waterford (17-5). Katelyn Haff walked to lead off the seventh, Jaime Dahl slapped a hit to second base and a sacrifice bunt by Elaina Sullivan was misplayed, loading the bases. Zawacki grounded to second base, but the throw home was not in time.

Fitch pitcher Alana Luzzio matched Spellman zero for zero until then, allowing just five hits, striking out six and walking one. Freshman leadoff hitter Claire Hurley had three hits for the Lancers. Fitch is 14-7.

Zawacki broke the game open against Stonington, as well, delivering a two-run single in the sixth that upped Waterford's lead to 3-0. With the bases loaded, the Bears then threw two runners out at the plate before Hurley drew a walk to force home the fourth run and Talia Rickerson drove in two more runs with a base hit.

That inning helped Spellman immeasurably, as she pitched the bottom of the sixth in the pouring rain. Stonington's Katie Headley led off the bottom of the seventh with a hit and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but that inning was erased entirely when the game was called.

In other games:

• Stonington defeated No. 8 Plainfield 6-0 behind a 12-strikeout performance from pitcher Theresa Kane, Kane added a double and two RBI, Rhianna Maynard went 2-for-2 with a run scored and Headley had a double and a run scored.

• Morgan Lloyd went 4-for-4 with three doubles and two RBI and Meghan Welch pitched a four-hitter in East Lyme's 7-0 win over St. Bernard.



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