MANCHESTER — No one did more for the Manchester Central softball program Wednesday than freshman Rania Barton.
Barton pitched a complete game and struck out 11 to help Central defeat Pinkerton Academy 5-0. She held Pinkerton to two hits, both singles, and walked three.
Her day didn’t end there, however. Once the varsity game ended, Barton hustled over to the adjoining field to help the depleted Central junior varsity team in its game.
“Our JV pitchers are both sick today, so JV is playing without a pitcher,” Central coach Emily Sedita explained. “As a freshman, with all of her friends down there, she said she would go finish their game.”
Central (2-1) did most of its damage in the bottom of the third inning, when it collected four of its six hits and scored three times to extend its lead to 4-0. Two of the hits were fly balls to right field that were lost in the sun.
Ally Gerardi’s double drove in Molly Heath and Matara Tamzarian, and Gerardi scored Central’s fourth run on Cassidy Lavigne’s single.
Health also scored in the first inning, when she walked and came around on Cooper Lavigne’s double.
Meanwhile, Barton faced 19 batters — one over the minimum — through six innings as Pinkerton had two runners erased on the bases.
“We also saw her (Barton) in a scrimmage we had against them and I think she does a good job changing location and reading batters,” said Pinkerton coach Kristen Abbott, whose team fell to 0-3. “They know what the batters are going to chase and what the umpires are giving them, so she does a really good job of picking her spots and attacking the batter.”
“She works hard each and every day, but I think what makes here do well is that she trusts her catcher and she has good composure in the circle,” Sedita added.
Central finalized the scoring in the sixth, when Cassidy Lavigne singled and raced in from third on a bunt.
Danielle St. Peter and Ellie Cashman had Pinkerton’s hits.
“Some of this is (lack of) experience,” Abbott said. “We started two freshmen at the corner positions (right field and third base), so there is some adjusting to the program and the level of play. You’re seeing a lot of the youth right now, but there’s potential. We just gotta get there.”