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Devils burn Wildcats

LISBON — The fifth-seeded Lisbon softball team showed its dominance with ace Mya Emmerling on the mound as the Blue Devils pounced on 14th-seeded Southington, 8-1, in a Division IV sectional final Wednesday.

Emmerling has stepped up with No. 1 pitcher Emma Thompson sidelined with an ankle injury and has embraced more responsibility for the Blue Devils.

“In the beginning of the season I started out not wanting to pitch as much,” Emmerling said. “I wanted to play the field more and then with Emma getting hurt I had to pitch more and step up and take charge of the team.”

Emmerling pitched seven innings, allowed one hit, one unearned run, and struck out five. She allowed only a fourth-inning infield single by Gabby Nieves.

Emmerling also helped her cause at the plate with one hit and two RBIs for the winners. Anna Marshalek also had a team-high three RBIs for Lisbon.

“It was a good feeling to have great pitching and having my defense behind me,” Emmerling said. “And they backed me up with hits and with their fielding. It was a great feeling.”

Kaity Clark went 3-for-4 for the Blue Devils, including a two-run double in the second inning. Morgan Lively went 2-for -4 with an RBI. Anna Marshalek also had a two-run single in the first inning.

Lisbon coach Dave Crismon said Emmerling has grown into the Blue Devils’ No. 1 arm for a variety of reasons.

“When Emma Thompson went down, Mya knew she had to shoulder a lot of the responsibility and she’s taken it on,” Crismon said. “I think this makes her 10-1 as our No. 1. I always know she’s going to give a great effort. She’s not going to walk a lot of people. She’s going to put the ball where it needs to be and get a lot of ground ball outs. That’s what we managed to do tonight. I was proud of her.”

Lisbon moves to 17-4 on the year.

Crismon believes the Blue Devils have adopted a fighter’s mentality in order to persevere during this whirlwind of a season.

“I think anytime you’re coming off of injuries and coming off a COVID season and just the things that we’ve tried to endure and get through moving people around, they are at that point where it’s do or die,” Crismon said. “So, this was step 1 and they took care of business at home and now we have to go into a very tough district semifinal.”

He said the win against Southington was a microcosm of the overall season.

“To bounce back like that. To try to establish ourselves early is what we wanted to do,” Crismon said. “We’re at home. They just had a long bus ride. Let’s jump on them early and make them play on their heels the rest of the game”

Game notes

• Lisbon will play fourth-seeded Brookfield at 5 p.m. Monday at Candlelite Knolls in Warren.

Brookfield lost to Columbiana, 10-5, in the season opener and split with Crestview.

• The Blue Devils were the only team in the Division IV super district to allow a run on Wednesday.

• Mya Emmerling’s first-inning foul ball drew gasps from the crowd. It was heading toward a vehicle driving by in the parking lot, bouncing right in front of it.

• Southington had its four-game winning streak stopped and drops to 7-10.

• The Wildcats have 45 errors on the season, including three in the first inning Wednesday. They had one error in their previous three games.

S: 1-0-0-0-0-0-0 –1-1-4

L: 4-3-0-0-0-1-x — 8-9-2

L – Mya Emmerling, wp (7IP, H, R, 5K, 2BB) and McKenna Dailey.

S — Natalie Piecuch, lp (1 1/3IP, 7R, 3ER, 3H 1K, 2BB), Aleeyah Pack (4 2/3IP, 1ER, 5H, 1 BB) and Mia Russamanno.

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