Burrows, Waterford clobber Wolcott in Class M softball quarterfinals
Waterford — Freshman Maddie Burrows laughed when asked Friday why she bats seventh in the order for the Waterford softball team.
It was a sensible question given that Burrows had just hit two three-run home runs and an RBI triple to help the third-seeded Lancers mash another CIAC Class M opponent, this time No. 11 Wolcott 11-0.
"Yeah, I'm feeling pretty good there," Burrows said of her spot in the lineup. "It's superstition, almost."
Waterford (20-4) advanced to next week's semifinals against No. 18 Granby at a date and time to be announced. The Bears beat No. 10 Lauralton Hall in their quarterfinal, 5-1.
Wolcott finished 17-7.
Waterford has outscored its opponents 42-0 in three state tournament games this week. That's after losing to Griswold 3-0 in the Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I tournament semifinals on May 22.
Junior Gina McKittrick had two hits, including a two-run single, for the Lancers and classmates Rachel Miller (single) and Madison Nott (double) each got their 100th career hit. Senior Regan Mazzulli added a sacrifice fly.
And then there was Burrows. Her first three-run home run gave Waterford a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Her second three-run home run pushed the Lancers ahead 6-0 in the third inning.
Wolcott, for whatever reason, opted to pitch to her again with a runner at second and no outs in the bottom of the fifth. She tripled and scored moments later on a passed ball to put Waterford ahead 10-0.
"She's been batting there for 17, 18 games," Lancers head coach Andy Walker said about Burrows hitting seventh. "I haven't really changed my lineup much, and she's comfortable there. I'm a superstitious guy. She's been very successful in that spot. I look forward to seeing her up.
"It's not like we don't have hitters in front of her. We have some very good hitters in front of her. Knowing that she's down there just lengthens our lineup and makes us that much stronger. Even the girls that follow (her) hit. We're very strong one through nine and, if you want to, 12 or 13 on our bench as well. We have a lot of hitters, and I feel confident with anyone who comes to the plate."
Miller also allowed just two hits with four strikeouts and no walks in five innings for Waterford. Burrows pitched the final two innings and allowed two hits with two strikeouts and a walk.
"We're just starting to jell," Walker said. "Good teams — great teams — start to put it together at this time of the year. We're putting everything together defensively, pitching-wise and the bats.
"I like where we are right now, and I like us going into the state semifinals playing the way we are."