The Bethel Wildcats softball team received another impressive performance from standout pitcher Yesenia Evaristo to defeat the Notre Dame-Fairfield Lancers 2-0 at Kasack Field. The Wildcats improve to 7-5 overall, and 5-3 in the SWC.
The Lancer’s first two batters struck out in the first inning before Evatisto issued a walk and hit a batter to put two runners on base. She pitched out of the inning, getting the Lancers’ batter to hit one back to the mound that she fielded and threw the runner out at first base.
Evaristo would continue to mow down batters as the game went on, recording several multi-strikeout innings. Coach Lynn Fenn was pleased with her pitcher’s performance.
“She moved the ball around very well,” Fenn said. “She hit the corners. She kept them off balance a little bit with a change of speed.”
The Wildcats would get on the board quickly to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Alyssa Martinez walked, and was advanced to second on an illegal pitch. Rachel Barton hit a single, and Martinez came home from second base to give the Wildcats a lead they would not relinquish.
“Our hitting is coming along,” said Fenn. “Rachel had a really nice hit behind the runner to score the first run. We were starting to swing the bat a bit better. We still need to work on being more confident at the plate and knowing our strike zone.”
Bethel would get a batter to second base in the second inning, but stranded them to end the inning. Danielle Spinella hit a single, and once again the Notre Dame pitcher was called for an illegal pitch. With Spinella in scoring position, Jenna Mango flew out, and Nikki Meadows was caught looking to end the threat.
The Wildcats threatened again in the third when Martinez drew a walk, and was advanced to second on the second out of the inning by Evaristo. That would be as far as Martinez would advance as Rachel Barton grounded out to end the inning.
The fourth inning was scoreless as Evaristo forced two flyouts and recorded a strikeout in the top of the inning. Bethel went down in order for the only time in the game.
Evaristo would record another two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 top of the fifth inning. The Lancers would ground out to the shortstop to end the inning.
Bethel would make some noise with the bottom of the order coming up in the bottom of the fifth. Mango walked to begin the inning. Meadows would hit a ball that would come to the second baseman for the Lancers who tagged out Mango running from first to second. Meadows would end up at third base, and would come home on a Lancers’ throwing error on a short hit from Evaristo. Bethel led 2-0 after five.
Notre Dame-Fairfield would try to get back into the game in the top of the sixth. They would get batters to first and third on two singles before Evaristo got the batter to make the third out of the inning on a fly ball.
Bethel tried to extend their lead in the bottom of the sixth, when Rosie O’Neil reached on an error, and went to third on a single by Spinella. After a Lancers’ pitch, O’Neil and Spinella tried a double steal of second and home on the throwback to the mound. Spinella was caught at second, and the Lancers quickly got the ball home to block home plate as O’Neil tried to slide into home. It wouldn’t matter as the Wildcats had more than enough runs to get the win.
Evaristo would have another multi-strikeout inning in the top of the seventh, and seal the victory inducing a fly ball to centerfield to end the game.
Fenn was quick to recognize the other half of her battery, Emily DeFazio. “Emily behind the plate did a nice job calling the game, and we made some nice plays defensively to help out the cause.”
Evaristo ended the game with 13 strikeouts, one walk, one hit batter, and two hits. Spinella, Barton, Evaristo, and Martinez each recorded hits for the Wildcats. Barton had the lone RBI on for the game.
“It is nice when it all starts to work together on both sides of the ball- offense and defense,” Fenn said.
The Wildcats play Weston on Wednesday, before returning home Friday to face Oxford at Kasack Field.