Woodbridge sophomore Christy Robitaille lost in the playoffs for the first time Friday night at Mayfair Park. And it was a tough one, because she pitched well enough to win.
But on this night, a tight strike zone and fast runner defeated Robitaille and the Warriors.
Robitaille, who averages one walk in every four-plus innings, walked five in the first four, and on any other day many of those pitches could have been strikes.
“The strike zone was very tight,” Woodbridge Coach Alan Dugard said. “I thought the umpire [Mike Kearns] was difficult behind the plate, on both teams.”
The disappointment was evident on Robitaille’s face and after the award ceremony and Dugard’s post-game talk, she finally let her frustration out, breaking down in tears.
“I was really mad,” Robitaille said later. “They got a lot of runners on and he wouldn’t call anything for me and that made it even worse.”
Robitaille, gave up only four hits, striking out 11 and walking six. She managed to get out of every jam, as Saugus stranded 10 runners. Saugus left runners on in every inning except for the fifth, when it scored the only run of the game.
Robitaille gave up a leadoff single to Nicole Giordano, who advanced to second on a ground out. With one out, Saugus Coach Ron Hilton sent Giordano and she scored from second on a grounder to short.
Shortstop Natasha Watley threw to first for the force play, but Giordano’s jump on the ball got her easily to home before Ashley Boone’s relay.
“They took advantage of a lot of good speed,” Dugard said. “It was very good coaching to send her [Giordano].”
Robitaille, 9-1 in playoffs, led the Warriors to the title last year, beating Lakewood, 4-3. She is eighth in the county in earned-run average (0.37) and has struck out 193 in 186 1/3 innings.
“I think she pitched extremely well,” Dugard said. “She had to throw a lot of pitches because of the tight strike zone. But she certainly pitched well enough to win.
“I thought we would prevail. I really thought we would score a run or two. But we’ll be back next year. That is what I just told the girls.
“We’ll be back next year.”