Spartans boost win streak to nine games

Spartans boost win streak to nine games

Scituate pitcher Hailey Venturini tossed a three-hitter and struck out 16 batters in Monday afternoon’s 4-1 win over Narragansett. Venturini, who has struck out as many as 17 batters in a game this season, has also pitched five one-hitters and teamed up to throw a five-inning perfect game. (Breeze photo by Kayla Panu)
Venturini strikes out 16 batters in three-hitter, helps softball team defeat Narragansett, 4-1

NORTH SCITUATE – After posting a 4-1 win over Narragansett last Monday afternoon at Manning Field, the Scituate High softball team now finds itself with a nine-game winning streak that has seen the Spartans give up only two runs, and head coach John Lickert gave the two main reasons why his team has been so successful.

“Pitching and defense,” he said. “We made a couple of boo-boos today, but what are you going to do? I told the girls, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ We gave them one run and we had to try and get a couple more. We were a little short today; we had a a couple of players who were out, but you play who you got.”

The win gave the Spartans a 10-4 record in Division II and allowed them to enter their showdown on the road Wednesday against North Smithfield, which along with St. Raphael Academy, was also 10-4. Sitting above them in the standings are the Prout School (11-2), Barrington (11-3), and Westerly and Johnston (10-3).

In Monday’s victory, the Spartans did not have a big inning against Narragansett pitcher Amelia Beauchemin, but they scored solo runs in the first, third, fourth, and fifth innings.

In the bottom of the first, Talia St. Angelo singled and later came home on Bailey Lomastro’s single up the middle, and in the third, the Spartans got two more hits to score another run, as Jane Owens singled to center and scored on Hailey Venturini’s line double to center.

In the fourth, Megan Vanner reached on a single up the middle and scored on Owens’ two-out single over the reach of the second baseman, and the final run came in the fifth when Venturini raced home on a passed ball.

“They’re getting better and they’re swinging the bats better,” Lickert said about his players. “We used to strike out a lot more earlier in the season, but we’re making contact.”

Owens, the leadoff batter, went 3-for-4, and Venturini and St. Angelo also collected a pair of singles.

As for Venturini, she was almost unhittable on the mound through seven innings. She ended up pitching a three-hitter that saw her strike out 16 batters and allow one walk, as well as an unearned run in the fourth.

How good has Venturini been? She has struck out 10 or more batters in her last five starts, including 17 in back-to-back games on the road against Middletown and Westerly. She has also pitched five one-hitters this season, as well as teamed up with Allison Roy to pitch a five-inning perfect game against East Greenwich on April 28.

“She’s been in a groove for the last nine games,” Lickert said. “She has seven shutouts and the two runs were unearned. It’s all her. She’s dominating hitters. As long as she can do that, we’re in good shape.”

After Wednesday’s game against the Northmen, the Spartans will host Ponaganset next Monday at 4:30 and then visit Portsmouth two afternoons later in their regular-season finale.

“All (those games) are going to be tough,” said Lickert. “We just want to try to get ready for the playoffs.”