A stellar pitching performance from Rachel Mouillesseaux and two key hits from Skyler Hoyt were all it took for Union-Endicott to secure the Class AA softball championship in a 3-0 victory against Binghamton on Saturday at the BAGSAI Complex.
Mouillesseaux tossed a three-hit shutout, while Hoyt went 2-for-2 with a home run and drove in all three of the Tigers’ runs.
“They really played the way they’re capable of,” Union-Endicott coach Jim Testa said. “That was the exciting part.”
Mouillesseaux was dominant, allowing three hits and a walk with nine strikeouts in seven innings. She also had a hit at the plate.
“Coming into the game, I felt strong,” Mouillesseaux said. “We had tight defense, which we struggled with early on in the season. I knew we’d come out strong today and our hits would come around.
“(Mouillesseaux) is just a big-game pitcher,” Testa said. “I knew she’d be there for us today. You could see she really wanted it. Just a great game.”
Mouillesseaux had to battle at times, as on three occasions the leadoff batter reached base, but each time she stranded the runner.
“I knew I had a tight defense around me, and I’ve been in this position before,” Mouillesseaux said. “I didn’t even think about it. I knew I had to focus on my pitches, and that’s what I did.”
Hoyt was the difference in the game, as she came up big in both of her at-bats to drive in the game’s only runs.
In the bottom of the third, with the game scorless, Hoyt stepped to the plate with two outs and Anne Kelly on third. She smacked a ball up the middle to bring home Kelly and give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
She faced a similar situation in the fifth, as she came up with two outs and Marissa Parsons on second. This time, she drove the ball over the center field wall, upping Union-Endicott’s lead to 3-0.
“I did not look for a home run at all,” Hoyt said. “I was just looking for some contact. It felt pretty good.”
Both times before Hoyt came to bat, Testa made a risky move by having the previous batter pull off a sacrifice bunt, which left Hoyt to come up with two outs each time.
“She is my best hitter,” Testa said. “We were struggling to hit, so I had to get a runner in scoring position, and hopefully Skyler would come through. I left it in her hands and she came through.”
Hoyt said the moves by Testa helped boost her confidence, “and that makes me have a lot of confidence in myself.”
Kelly went 1-for-2 with a run, and Lex Eastman and Karleigh Eaton also recorded a hit apiece.
Binghamton starting pitcher Mikayla Pourby was strong, as she threw a complete game. She gave up three runs on six hits while walking none and striking out four.
“(Pourby) is in seventh grade, and she is very impressive,” Testa said.
Leah McGovern went 2-for-3 for Binghamton. Teammate Kaily LaForce had a double for the Patriots’ other hit.
Testa was pleased about the way his team played in a game that could have gone either way.
“I told the girls they didn’t have to play over their heads and do what they’re capable of, and they did,” Testa said. “And it helps having a pitcher throw a shutout. That doesn’t hurt.”