MERIDEN — So much for dwelling on the past.
A day after its six-game winning streak was snapped in gut-wrenching fashion, the Maloney softball team was back in action and routing a CCC foe Thursday at the William Dunn Sports Complex. The Spartans banged out 16 hits and scored in each inning of a 15-2 blitzing of Wethersfield.
Maloney, which lost 10-9 in walk-off fashion to Bristol Eastern on Wednesday, improved to 13-3 overall and to 10-2 in CCC games. Wethersfield fell to 6-10.
“Today was just a lot better,” junior shortstop Lea White said. “I just let (yesterday) go. It was a tough loss, but I wanted to keep it in the past.”
White, who went 3-for-5 with a triple over the center fielder’s head, was one of four Spartans to bang out extra-base hits. Haley Kennedy and Maddy LaValle each had doubles, while sophomore Lizzy Barton came off the bench in the sixth to hit a triple.
The Spartans led Wethersfield 6-0 after three innings. Maloney also tallied six runs in the first inning against Bristol Eastern to lead 6-0 early.
The Spartans actually led Eastern 8-3 in the fourth inning and scored late to lead 9-8 heading to the bottom of the seventh before the Lancers walked off with a win. Maloney made six errors in the loss.
Thursday would see no such Wethersfield comeback.
The Spartans broke the game wide open with four runs in the fourth inning to lead 10-0. Maloney tacked on a run in the fifth and scored four more times in the sixth after the Eagles scored twice in the top of the sixth.
“I really like the way the kids came back (after yesterday),” Maloney head coach Scott Aresco said. “I challenged them to play as a team, play together. I don’t think we had that yesterday.
“They came into this game real loose and were having a good time,” Aresco added. “And it showed. I just think we were tight yesterday.”
Taylor Trowbridge went all seven innings to earn the win in the circle. The sophomore allowed a leadoff single in the first inning and scattered four more singles over the next six innings.
Maloney’s defense shined behind Trowbridge, turning two double plays in the first two innings to end any Wethersfield threat of scoring.
Maloney led 3-0 after one inning. White led off with a single and a Wethersfield error allowed Maloney to score its first two runs.
A throwing error came on a ground ball by Trowbridge to shortstop. Trowbridge raced around to third base on the error, then stole home to give the Spartans their 3-0 lead.
White’s triple in the second scored Alexa Papallo and gave Maloney a 4-0 lead. Emma Burns delivered a two-run single in the third as the Spartans lead grew to 6-0.
With Trowbridge blanking the Eagles, the Maloney hits just kept coming. LaValle started what turned into a four-run fourth inning with a double.
Milytza Perez, who also went 3-for-5, singled home LaValle and scored on Skyler Drost’s solid line drive to left field.
Kennedy’s double plated Drost and she scored the 10th Maloney run when Mackenzie Washington (2-for-3) singled past the third baseman.
“Yesterday was a really tough loss, but we came together today,” Drost said. “We just have to stay up on the bats. If we play like we did today, I really think we have a good chance in the state tournament.”
While the postseason is in the Spartans’ future, what immediately lies ahead are crucial CCC South-Colonial Division games against Middletown and Berlin next week. Maloney beat Berlin and Middletown earlier this season.
But each Maloney win was close. The Spartans edged Berlin 5-4 and beat Middletown two days later 8-6.
“Next week is huge for us,” Aresco said. “If we play like today, we’ll be all right. I expect some good competition next week. There is a lot on the line for us.”
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