Four games into the season, the Seymour High softball team was a mediocre 2-2 and riding a two-game losing streak. Since then, coach Ken Pereiras’ Wildcats have become very dangerous.
Seymour invaded Beacon Falls looking for payback from the 5-4 loss it suffered to Woodland in the second week of the season on May 8.
It took 10 innings, but Seymour walked off the diamond with an 11-6 win.
How far has Seymour come since the start of the season? That question was answered loud and clear on Saturday, when Raeanne Geffert threw the first perfect game by a freshman in program history, blanking a 13-1 Morgan team by an 8-0 margin.
Geffert has also excelled at the plate, banging out three hits and driving in two runs to lead the 15-2 Wildcats.
Katie Petroski had two hits and an RBI, with Sarah Molin belting a single and a double and scoring two runs to pace the offense.
“We came out against Woodland looking to show them that we are the better team,” Pereiras said. “We did that with the home run and then Raeanne did a great job holding the Woodland team. But again we made errors and let them back in the game.”
Seymour came out in the top of the first inning on a mission.
Morgan Scinto and Carissa Wasikowski drilled back-to-back hits with one out. Makayla O’Hara cleared the bases with a three-run homer over the head of the right fielder to put the ’Cats on top.
“The difference between us and Seymour,” said Woodland head coach Loren Luddy, “Is we make solid contact and put the ball in play. Seymour makes contact and the ball travels to the fence.
“We showed a lot of confidence coming back to tie the game, but in the end we didn’t make some of the plays we had to.”
Woodland battled back by scoring two runs in the third. An infield error on a throw to first and a dropped pop up in the outfield gave the Hawks all the opportunity they needed.
Hawk pitcher Samantha Lee and Nicole Fowler came around to score to close the gap at 3-2, before Geffert managed to slam the door.
In the top of the sixth, Seymour got all the insurance runs they seemed to need after O’Hara and Molin reached on a solid single to right and a bunt single back to the pitcher.
Grace Nisbet then unloaded a three-run homer in the left-center gap to open up a wide 6-2 lead.
Geffert was one out away from getting out of the bottom of the sixth with the lead when Lee and Fowler singled to the outfield.
A pair of infield errors opened the door long enough for Jaime Dizazzo to park a bases-clearing triple that tied the game at 6 before the final out was made.
“O’Hara and Nisbet hit the ball real well for us,” Pereiras said. “We made some mistakes and let them back into the game.
“They scored four runs with two outs and it was just nice to come out of here with the win.”
Both teams had opportunities in extra innings to put the game away, but Geffert and Lee got the outs they needed — none was bigger than an out at the plate in the ninth inning.
Pereiras looked to play small ball in the top of the ninth having Petroski, the team’s top hitter and fastest runner, bunt her way on.
Two stolen bases later, Petroski was on third base.Wasikowski hit one back to Lee and on the throw to first Petroski broke for the plate.
The relay home had Rachel Starkey applying the tag with Petroski dropping her hand on the plate, and the umpire ruled her out for the inning-ending double play.
Scinto made an all-out diving catch in the bottom of the frame to keep Woodland from mounting a threat.
In the 10th, Seymour unloaded.
O’Hara, Nisbet and Geffert singled and Emma Crocamo reached on a fielder’s choice — with O’Hara being cut down at the plate.
Amanda Harkins then drove in Nisbet with the eventual game-winning run.
Pinch runners Ashley Andes and Cassie Tilton scored on a two-run double from Petroski, and by the time the third out was made Seymour was in control 11-6.
Geffert held off a Hawks late rally to put the win in the books.
Seymour will close out the regular season with games with St. Paul of Bristol, Watertown and home to Wolcott on Thursday.