DANBURY -- There's timely hitting, and then there's the offensive switch the Danbury softball team recently flipped, just in time for the stretch run.
About a week removed from a doozy of a slump and with just a week's worth of games left to play before the FCIAC Tournament, the Hatters continued their surge Friday afternoon, pounding out 12 hits and piling on the runs late to beat Trumbull 9-2. The bats backed a gem from junior Kara Orr, who struck out seven and walked two while allowing just three hits and only one earned run.
"That's our best game of the year," said Danbury coach Harry Trohalis, whose Hatters (12-5, 10-5 FCIAC) are still jockeying for premium playoff position. "We scored just four runs in 45 innings prior to our last two games. We've scored 21 (in the last two) without many walks or errors by the other team, so we've really been hitting the ball. We're hitting the long ball, and we're hitting with two outs. That demoralizes the other team."
Despite their struggles against Orr, the Golden Eagles were anything but demoralized through the first five frames, the score knotted 2-2 heading into the home half.
It was with one out in the bottom of the fifth when Kristy Trotta ignited a Hatters rally with a slap to shortstop that went for an infield single. Marisa Ferguson followed with a single to center and advanced to second on a throw, putting runners on second and third for Orr, who stood by as a wild pitch plated Trotta and then singled to center to drive in Ferguson with her second RBI.
The Hatters added another run on an RBI double by Jessica Oliveira and tacked on three more in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single from Erica Carboni and a three-run triple by junior catcher Michelle Jones, completing the unraveling of previously effective Trumbull starter Maddie Festa.
"(Festa) was over-rotating and over-throwing the ball," said Trumbull coach Charlie Judge. "When your motion is bad, you can't pitch."
The Hatters did some two-out damage to jump out to an early 1-0 lead on a first-inning triple by Ferguson, followed by an RBI double by Orr. An inside-the-park home run by senior first baseman Hannah Keiser made it 2-0 with one out in the second.
The only offense mounted against Orr came in the top of the third, when Trumbull capitalized on a lapse her control long with some shaky defense by the Hatters to tie the score. Orr got stronger in the later innings, striking out the side in the seventh to notch her eighth victory of the season.
"I usually get better as the game goes on and I have a great defense," Orr said of her winning formula. "(The current win streak) definitely (gives us some momentum heading into the playoffs)."
TRUMBULL 002 000 0 -- 2 3 1
DANBURY 110 034 X -- 9 12 1
Records: Danbury 12-5, 10-5; Trumbull 8-7.
Batteries: T -- Maddie Festa (L) and Erica Quinones; D -- Kara Orr (W, 8-3) and Michelle Jones. SO: Festa 7, Orr 7. BB: Festa 2, Orr 2. HBP: Festa 1, Orr 2.
2B: Orr (D), Jessica Oliveira (D), Jones (D). 3B: Marisa Ferguson (D). HR: Hannah Keiser (D). RBI: D -- Orr 2, Keiser, Oliveira, Carboni, Jones 3.