COVENTRY- Some days the hits are hard to come by. The Coventry High School softball team managed just two of them on Wednesday afternoon, both of them coming off the bat of centerfielder Jordan Dwyer in a 2-0 loss against Chariho.
The Chargers, now 10-1 in conference play, received a complete-game performance out of starting pitcher Kate Powers, who struck out nine Oaker batters as part of her two-hit shutout.
“She did a good job,” Coventry head coach Chris Daigenault said, his team dropping to 8-4 with the loss. Wednesday’s defeat marked the first time this season that the Oakers were held scoreless all game, a tribute to Power’s effectiveness on the mound. “She moved all around the zone, went low, went high, stayed outside, came inside. She’s a good pitcher. She’s a senior, she’s been doing it for a while now,” said Daigneault.
Daigneault countered with three different pitchers of his own: Sam Bergantino, Diana Petrarca and Sierra Ricci, who allowed a total of just four hits, two of which belonged to Chloe Joslin who was responsible for driving in each of the visitors’ two runs on the day.
“I pitched three different people, I thought they did phenomenal, defense played awesome, we just didn’t get enough runs, didn’t get enough runners (on base),” the Oaker skipper said of the loss.
To make matters more frustrating, each of Chariho’s runs came with two out in a game that saw the two sides combine for a total of just six base hits.
“We had two hits, they had four hits. They had timely hitting, we didn’t get it,” Daigneault said, keeping his analysis short and to the point.
Bergantino went the first three innings for the Oakers, allowing one of the two runs scored on the day, while striking out four, including the side in order in the second.
Caitlin O’Leary led off the top of the first with a walk and would come around to score the game’s first run on a Joslin single three batters later to make it 1-0.
Oaker third baseman Aly Woods drew a one-out walk in the home half of the frame before advancing into scoring position on a passed ball, but was left stranded there as Marissa Allen struck out to end the inning.
Dwyer broke up Power’s no-hit bid with a two out double in the third before Woods grounded out to short.
“We talked throughout the game. She moved the ball around well, I give credit to her. Like I said, it just wasn’t our day at the plate,” Daigneault said of adjustments his team made against the Chariho hurler.
Petrarca tossed a pair of scoreless frames in the fourth and fifth, keeping the home team’s deficit at just one run before Sierra Ricci took over in the sixth.
The junior, who guided the Oakers to a 5-0 win at Mount St. Charles just the day before, was tagged for one run over two innings of work, with Joslin singling home O’Leary for the second time to make it 2-0.
Dwyer reached base safely on an infield single to leadoff the home half of the sixth and advanced all the way to third on a double steal, but Petrarca and Allen each struck out, keeping the home team off the scoreboard.
The bottom of the seventh featured little drama, as Sara Steinkamp, Hannah Hawley and Olivia Saccoccio were retired in order, bringing an end to a well-pitched game on both sides.
The Oakers return to action on Saturday with an equally challenging task as they head to Providence to take on a La Salle squad that as of Wednesday, had a 10-1 conference record on the year. First pitch for that game is set for 2 p.m.