The Seymour U-12 softball team won the Section I championship over North Branford on Friday to move on to the best-of-three state championship series against Pawcatuck/North Stonington.
After beating Pawcatuck/North Stonington, 7-3, in the state final opener on Sunday night, Seymour dropped a 5-2 decision on Monday night. That forced a third game Sunnyside School in Shelton, with the state championship on the line — which was won by Seymour, 3-1.
North Branford defeated Seymour, 10-1, on Thursday at Stankye Field in the Old Tavern Road Sports Complex in Orange to force a deciding if-game on Friday. North Branford held a slim 2-0 advantage before erupting for five runs in the fourth and put the game away with another three run outburst in the fifth.
It wasn’t as tough as the loss Seymour suffered two years ago in the 9-10 year old final, when North Branford won the Section I title in a 1-0 heart-breaker.
On Friday, all the bad memories and Thursday’s letdown were laid to rest when Rebecca Findley dashed home with the winning run on a passed ball to put an end to a drama filled 10-9 Seymour win.
“We had beaten North Branford earlier in the tournament when Jenna Geffert threw a 5-0 shutout, striking out nine,” said Seymour head coach Bob Findley.
“Give North Branford credit. They made the adjustment, choked up on the bat and got some solid hits off us.”
“But our girls are resilient and they came back ready to play the next night. We looked a lot better than we did on Thursday and came back twice to win the title.”
Seymour had banged out nine hits, but managed to push just one run across the plate on Thursday. Findley led the attack with three hits — including a triple in the fourth. Chelsea Avila singled in the run, but Seymour was already trailing by a 7-0 margin. Jillian Andes and Rebecca Johnson collected two hits each. Seymour stranded nine base runners.
With the championship on the line Friday night, Seymour wasted little time in making a statement. Molly Adamo got the start in the pitcher’s circle and Seymour took a 5-1 lead into the third inning.
Ashley Sabin, Sierra Cripps and Kayla Curtis provide the plays on defense to keep Seymour in the game. North Branford struck for five runs in the third, but that advantage was short-lived.
Johnson belted a big run-scoring double to highlight the first Seymour rally that resulted in a 7-6 lead in the fourth. Megan Condo came on in relief, throwing the final three innings in the circle.
After North Branford tied the game at 7, Seymour went ahead again with a two-run fifth inning. Isabella Calabro singled and scored on an RBI hit from Ivy Geloso, who scored the insurance run on an error.
North Branford tied the game again at 9 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning with the championship on the line.
Findley ripped a shot back to the pitcher that went off the glove and Seymour had a lead runner on base. Findley reached third base with one out and scored the game-winner when a pitch got away from the catcher.
The final inning drama was fitting for a championship game that had four lead changes and three ties.
“The girls didn’t give up,” said Findley. “They kept battling and this certainly made up for the loss they suffered two years ago against this same team.”