Pictured: Coginchaug pitcher Amalia DeMartino (8) spun a one-hit shutout against Old Saybrook on Monday, allowing just three base runners, none of whom advanced as far as second base. Her shutout was the second straight for the Blue Devils.
By Marc Silvestrini
OLD SAYBROOK — Sooner or later this season, the laws of inevitability dictate that the Coginchaug softball team is going to give up a run.
It just hasn’t happened yet.
Amalia DeMartino pitched a one-hit shutout against Old Saybrook on Monday to call and raise teammate Kelly Boothroyd’s two-hit shutout in the team’s opener last week. The undefeated, unscored-upon Blue Devils moved to 2-0 with a 12-0 win against the Rams.
The game was called after six innings of play when the umpires invoked the mercy rule.
DeMartino, the team’s regular shortstop, allowed only three baserunners, two of whom were Saybrook shortstop Cassie Johnson, who walked in the first inning and was credited with the home team’s only hit when she tapped a nubber that hit the plate and bounced about eight feet up the third base line. Catcher Dana Boothroyd hustled to the ball, grabbed it and made a strong and accurate throw to her sister, Kelly, at first base, but Johnson just beat the throw.
The third Saybrook base runner reached on an infield error in the fifth.
DeMartino, who did not allow a runner to reach second base, fanned five and walked one over six innings of work. Julia Dwire was the starter and loser for the Rams while Christina Lombardi tossed the final 1 2/3 innings.
DeMartino admitted after the game that she is much more comfortable playing shortstop, but also conceded that “Kelly can’t pitch every inning of every game.”
She added that whatever anxiety she may have felt before the game was quickly dispelled when she looked around and realized she was pitching to one of the league’s best catchers and that she was also safeguarded by a solid defense.
“I was able to relax and just do my job because I knew Dana was behind the plate to block any wild pitches I might throw up there, and I knew I had a real great defense behind me,” she said.
DeMartino, one of five Coginchaug players with two hits Monday, led off the game by reaching on an error, stole second and was promptly brought home when Ava Marenna blasted a double over the center fielder’s head.
Marenna moved to second on a bouncer to third by Dana Boothroyd and scored on grounder to deep short by Kelly Boothroyd to give the Devils a quick 2-0 lead.
Dwire, who made things difficult for the Devils’ offense with a wide assortment of tricky, lower-velocity offerings, kept the visitors off the board over the next two innings, but ran into trouble in the fourth when she gave up a one-out infield single to Allison Strang, uncorked a wild pitch to move Strang to second and gave up a two-out single to center by Paige Konopka that made it 3-0.
After a Saybrook error kept the inning alive, DeMartino’s line single to right plated Konopka to boost the lead to 4-0.
Coginchaug sophomore Jackie Kelly pretty much ended the drama an inning later when she followed solid singles by the Boothroyd sisters with a long three-run blast that easily cleared the left-field fence, extending the lead to 7-0.
The game ended when Saybrook failed to score in the last of the sixth after having surrendered five runs in the top of the frame.
Konopka and Amanda Case led the 13-hit Devil attack with two hits and two RBIs apiece, while DeMartino, Marenna and Strang each collected a pair of hits.
“This game was trickier for us than it looked,” Coginchaug coach Steve DeMartino said. “I thought that pitcher (Dwire) they started did a real good job of keeping us off kilter. She threw our timing off and we just didn’t do a good job of adjusting to her style of pitching until later in the game.”
When asked about his daughter’s efforts on the mound, DeMartino said she had done a “good job,” and that she seemed to have a lot of success with that “hard, rising ball she throws.”
Old Saybrook coach Melissa Martin said she was pleased with Dwire’s performance.
“She may not be the fastest pitcher you’ll see, but she hits her spots and makes good pitches when she needs to,” Martin said.
Martin also said her team needs to work on avoiding the mental mistakes that have been hurting it on defense.
“Our goal is to rise to the next level of play with our defense, to start thinking of things like getting the lead runner instead of settling for the easy out,” she said.
Old Saybrook’s next opportunity to raise its level of play comes Wednesday at 4pm against Morgan in Clinton. The Rams return home on Friday and Saturday to host North Branford (4pm) and Westbrook (11am), respectively.
Coginchaug is scheduled to visit Cromwell on Tuesday, has a tentative date with Hale-Ray on Thursday and will host East Hampton-Portland on Friday at 4.
Cog 200 235 12-13-1
OS 000 000 0-1-4
Pitchers: C–DeMartino; OS- Dwire, Lombardi (5). WP: DeMartino; LP-Dwire. 2B: C–Marenna. HR: C–Kelly. Records: Coginchaug 2-0; Old Saybrook 1-2.