BRISTOL, Conn. — Hannah Ricker drew a two-out walk and scored on an error in the bottom of the seventh inning Monday night to give Scarborough Little League a 5-4 win over previously unbeaten Fairfield, Conn., in New England pool play of the Eastern Regional tournament.

Scarborough has completed pool play and has qualified for the championship round that begins Wednesday.

“We’re 2-2 so we certainly feel good about that,” Scarborough Manager Dave Littlefield said. “We’ll see what seeding we get. We’re going to play a Mid-Atlantic team, a team we haven’t played yet, in the first round. We’re excited to be moving on.”

Ricker, called out on runner’s interference as she reached first base during a fifth-inning rally, worked a walk against Kayla Bivens, Connecticut’s fourth pitcher. Laura Powell blooped a single to center and the runners moved up on a wild pitch.

Samantha Carriero hit a routine grounder to shortstop Brittany Romero, whose throw to first sailed high, permitting Ricker to cross the plate with the clincher. “I just had a good feeling about this game,” Littlefield said. “After losing in extra innings to Rhode Island (Friday), it’s good to win one.”

Ace Abbie Murrell went the distance, yielding five hits and one earned run while striking out 14.

“(She’s) unbelievable,” Littlefield said. “You put her out there and nothing fazes her. You have a two-run lead, they tie it up, it goes back and forth, she doesn’t get rattled, she stays focused and keeps pounding the strike zone. That’s all I can ask for.”

Scarborough took a 2-0 lead in the second inning against Connecticut’s second pitcher, Maddie Russell. Chloe Griffin greeted her with a line single to left. Ricker walked and Powell sacrificed the runners into scoring position. Carriero drilled a double over the center fielder’s head scoring both runners.

The Scarborough defense broke down in the fourth, enabling Connecticut to score a pair of unearned runs. 

Mary Rose Finnegan led off with a single. She moved up on a passed ball and took third on a single by Russell. Finnegan came home on another passed ball and Russell scored the tying run when Griffin (2 for 4) couldn’t come up with a grounder by Bivens.

Romero, who had solid singles in her first two at-bats, crushed a two-run, inside-the-park homer to give Connecticut a 4-2 lead in the fifth. When she came up in the seventh looking for a perfect night at the plate, Murrell retired her on a checked-swing soft liner back to the mound. 

Littlefield didn’t think about putting her on. “We thought we could get it done pitching to her and it worked out well,” he said. 

The resilient Scarborough girls staged a rally to tie the game again in the home half of the fifth. 

Lucy Bogdanovich walked and went to third on Murrell’s single. Griffen punched an RBI single to right. Ricker appeared to have a bunt single to scorethe tying run but was called out for running inside the base line. Murrell scored the equalizer when Finnegan dropped Carriero’s two-out infield pop.

Griffen turned in the defensive play of the game at first base when she made a sprawling catch on a foul pop leading off the sixth inning.

 


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