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Southington’s Lauren Zazzaro, right, scores the game’s only run in the second inning sliding past Mercy catcher Tyler Keegan, left, on a base hit by Natalie Wadolowski.

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WEST HAVEN — Neither a weather postponement nor a change of venue this weekend could knock the top-ranked Southington softball team off course.

Really, the Blue Knights set their own itinerary last year after losing to Amity 10-6 in the CIAC Class LL state title game.

“Redemption,” Southington senior pitcher Jordyn Moquin said. “That was our ultimate goal — to get back (to the state championship tilt) no matter what and we definitely fought hard for that. Redemption was our big thing. We definitely wanted to continue the Southington softball legacy.”

The Blue Knights did just that with Sunday night’s tidy 1-0 win over No. 6 Mercy before a packed house at Frank Biondi Softball Field.

The win gave Southington (24-1) its 15th state championship and the second under coach John Bores, who also guided the Knights to the state title in 2004.

“It feels like a lifetime (ago),” said Bores, who has been at the helm since 2003 and taken his teams to five state finals. “I am breathing a sigh of relief because we’ve had the monkey on our back since last year when we imploded. It was embarrassing. To have most of the kids back this year, they knew they wanted to come out and prove something and they did. I couldn’t be prouder.”

Southington scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, sophomore Lauren Zazzaro was grazed by a pitch from Mercy starter Mary Adametz. Zazzaro scurried to second base on a pitch in the dirt and, with two outs, raced home on freshman Natalie Wadolowski’s line-drive single to center field.

“Natalie has been spectacular for us,” Bores said. “She’s been clutch for us all year.”

“Our goal was to get back to the state championship game,” said Wadolowski, the game’s Most Valuable Player who watched from the stands when Amity beat Southington last year. “We just wanted to win this game and redeem ourselves from last year. I just saw that pitch and drove it.”

Meanwhile, Moquin (24-1) was typical Moquin — moving the ball in, out, up and down, changing speeds and letting her defense do the work. She went the distance, scattering five hits with three strikeouts and a walk.

“I’m proud of myself, but I would be nothing without my defense,” Moquin said. “I trust them.”

Both teams turned in defensive gems. The Knights turned a nifty double play in the top of the first inning to squelch a would-be Tigers rally.

Mercy’s Astin Donovan led off the game with a walk off Moquin. Stephanie Mangiamelli then put down a sacrifice bunt. She was thrown out at first base, but Donovan, attempting to go first-to-third on the play, was pegged at third with catcher Rachel Harvey covering.

“The double play was really key,” Bores said. “We practice defensive stuff every day.”

Southington also got tremendous defense from Sarah Carangelo, who showed off her range to make two catches in center field, and third baseman Zazzaro, who was perfect with seven assists at the hot corner.

Mercy also flashed the leather. In the Southington fourth, Harvey reached on an error and Moquin lashed an 0-2 pitch into right field for a single to put runners on the corners. Pinch-runner Caitlin Downes then stole second base and the Blue Knights were in business. But Adametz sandwiched a foul out around two grounders to keep the Knights’ advantage at 1-0.

On the foul out, pinch-hitter Rachel Dube lofted a ball toward the Southington crowd along the third-base line. Mercy third baseman Mangiamelli sprinted to her right and timing her leap perfectly, reached over the fence to make the catch and rob Dube.

“Oh boy, I hope this doesn’t bite us,” Bores admitted thinking when Mercy escaped the inning.

In Southington’s fifth, the speedy Downes bunted for a two-out hit and attempted to score on Sydney Ferrante’s shot in the right-center field gap, but Downes was cut down at the plate on a 9-6-2 relay in which the University of South Florida-bound Donovan showed off her throwing arm.

“She’s got a gun for an arm,” Bores said. “I was really impressed with their shortstop. She’s the real deal. I had to take a shot. We had two outs, you don’t know if we’re going to get another hit and I’ve got my fastest runner on base.”

Mercy’s Adametz (18-5) certainly pitched well enough to win. She allowed five hits with two strikeouts, one walk and hit one batter.

The Class LL state title game was originally scheduled for Friday night at Stratford’s DeLuca Field, but it was postponed due to rain and slated for Sunday night at DeLuca. However, the CIAC ultimately switched the location to West Haven.

But nothing could derail the Blue Knights.

“These guys were on a mission from Day One,” Bores said. “This has been one of the nicest groups, if not the nicest group, I’ve ever coached in softball. They came out, they accepted their jobs, they accepted their roles and played hard every at-bat, every ground ball and every fly ball. I didn’t have moping or sulking. I couldn’t be prouder of these kids. The deserved it and I’m happy for them.”



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