When Weston High softball coach Dave Lustberg called pitcher Kat Fischer the team’s ace after the opening game with Abbott Tech three weeks ago, she was just getting warmed up.
Beating Joel Barlow 2-0 at home last Monday, April 16, Fischer can now add a three-hit conference shutout against the Falcons to her growing list of accomplishments.
The game’s first four innings lulled as the two teams’ strengths clashed and flared to a standstill. Defense, instead of offense, reeled both teams in for a bout of cat and mouse. The game did not heat up until the bottom of the fifth, when the Trojans ventured out long enough from their comfort zone to ensure victory.
Beginning with a sacrifice fly from Fischer, Kaidy Wollman scored Weston’s first run, and an RBI from Lianna Hursh brought in Natalie Hassett to put Weston up 2-0. It was a small lead, but the two-run advantage stuck for the rest of the game. In addition to smashing a triple earlier in the game, Hursh racked up 11 putouts at her position.
Giving Fischer a break, Kelsey Sacane started Wednesday’s visiting bout with the Bunnell Bulldogs. She gave up only six hits, but Weston committed a number of errors in an 11-2 loss.
Weston trailed just 3-1 before the Bulldogs scored six runs in the fifth inning.
Though noticeably shaken from the Bulldogs’ growing lead, Sacane continued undeterred. Lustberg praised her tenacity and performance, while also waxing honestly on why the Trojans gave up 11 runs.
“The outfield let Kelsey down,” said Lustberg. “Our defense as a whole was shaky and they just didn’t support Kelsey’s pitching.”
Dynamic defense from Shelby Merberg at third base and Hursh at first was not enough to change Lustberg’s mind.
“We may have fielded a few tough plays, but they also gave up some really easy ones, too,” he said.
Fischer, however, had a banner game with a double play and the only home run of the game in the fifth inning. A sacrifice hit, also in the fifth, brought Hursh home for the Trojans’ second run.
Thursday’s game between Weston and Pomperaug was almost a complete reversal of the earlier Barlow match. With Pomperaug scoring four runs in the fourth, and little base movement occurring elsewhere, the Trojans managed only three hits in the entire game in a 4-0 loss.
The Panthers’ subtle, technical pitcher Lauren Reilly prevented the Trojans from getting any hits in.
“We probably would’ve done better against a fast pitcher,” said Lustberg.
Weston, now 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the South-West Conference, is at Newtown today (Thursday), hosts New Milford on Monday and is at Bethel on Wednesday. All games are at 4:15 p.m.