TORONTO - Some games can be won or lost based purely on the confidence level of the opposing teams.
The Madonna softball team traveled across the river Tuesday to face Toronto. The Blue Dons defeated the Red Knights 15-3 in a shortened five-inning affair.
"This is two games in a row where we've hit the ball very well," Madonna head coach Chris Conti said. "The girls have a lot of confidence. That's what I like. This is the time of the year when you have to have it. We have it right now. You also have to play good defense. The girls have confidence and they're playing together. And that makes me very happy."
MAKING CONTACT — Toronto second baseman Cari Horne tags out Weirton Madonna’s Isabella Anile during a steal attempt Tuesday’s 15-3 victory over Toronto.
-- Mike Mathison
The teams will meet again Thursday.
"Sometimes I think we put ourselves in too much of a hole," Toronto skipper Eugene Ciciarelli said. "We've been much better at swinging at strikes. We just need to get there confidence up.
"When you lose a game by more than 10 runs, it's all the little things you could have done."
Madonna did the majority of its damage in the second inning. The Blue Dons batted through the order and 13 total hitters came to the plate. The team scored seven runs.
Emily Pietranton and Annie Magnone drew walks to open the inning. A wild pitch allowed both to advance on the bases. Emily Hvizdak singled both home.
Courtney Moss was the next batter to come to the plate. She also singled. A bad relay throw allowed both runners to advance. Sara Lyons then singled, which brought both base runners past the plate. Isabella Anile followed with a single. Lyons eventually came home when Madonna attempted a double steal.
With the bases loaded, Pietranton was up for the second time in the inning. She hit an infield grounder. Stephanie Magnone limped home and beat the throw. Then Annie Magnone walked, and the seventh run came past the plate.
Emily Hvizdak's thee-run triple in the fifth inning brought the game to a close. Hvizdak also singled twice and finished with four RBIs. Sarah Lyons had three hits - all singles - which resulted in three RBIs.
Amanda Pulice pitched for Madonna and garnered the win.
"Amanda pitched a very good game today," Conti complimented. "She's a freshman, and she's pitching well. She has to tweak a few things here and there. She just gets better and better as the game goes along. I'm pleased with everything as a while right now. But, you can always improve. We're getting there."
Madonna sandwiches a game at 5 p.m. today against Bridgeport between its Toronto double dip.
Toronto's runs came courtesy of a Kaylee Yasho double, a Shane Sears' single and a Becca Schaming sacrifice fly.
"Our girls are trying to do the right things," Ciciarelli said. "We also have trouble when we get down in the game and trying to find ways to get back into it. When we get ahead or get that first run, we're tough all the way through the game.
"It's about awareness. It's about all the little things. We're almost there."
Madonna 15, Toronto 3
Madonna 371 04 - 15 14 3
Toronto 012 00 - 3 6 2
MADONNA (6-6): Pulice (WP, 1K, 3BB) and A.Magnone. Hvizdack t, 2s, 4rbi; Moss s; Lyons 3s, 3rbi; Anile 3s; S.Magnone 2s, rbi; Paul s; Quattrochi s; Alongi rbi; A.Magnone rbi.
TORONTO (7-9): Sears (LP, 3K, 5BB) and Brown. Sears 2s, rbi; Stoica s; Brown 2s; Schamming rbi, Yasho d.