COVENTRY — Maybe it was graduation the night before. Maybe it was the early start time. Maybe it was a letdown from an emotional win two days prior.
Whatever it was, the Chariho High softball team lacked a certain spark in its Division I tournament elimination game against Coventry on Saturday.
The result was a 7-0 loss and the end of its season.
“The bottom line is we didn’t score any runs so we never gave ourselves a chance to win the game,” Chargers coach Dave Petrocelli said. “It was just one of those days. It’s hard to figure out sometimes. Coming off the Pilgrim game that we had and hoping to have it carry over to today, and, honestly, we were just very, very flat.”
The No. 5 Chargers (18-6) managed just three hits off Oakers starter Sierra Ricci, who, helped by two double plays, faced only two batters over the minimum. Chariho did not have a runner reach second base.
Ricci wasn’t overpowering by any means — she struck out three — but kept the Chargers “off-balance,” Petrocelli said.
“We seem to struggle with the slower pitchers. I don’t want to take anything away from her. She beat us three times this year so hat’s off to the kid. Give her credit. But I don’t understand how we didn’t make adjustments. It’s hard to figure out. We just didn’t get it done.”
In addition to its pitching, No. 4 Coventry (15-5) got it done offensively against Chariho starter Kate Powers (four innings, five earned runs). They finished with nine hits and walked three times. They also put the leadoff runner on base in four of the six innings they batted.
The game was originally scheduled for 4 p.m. but was moved up to 1, and the Oakers jumped right in front, scoring two runs in the first on two singles, a walk and a wild pitch.
They broke the game open in the fifth, sending nine batters to the plate and scoring three runs on three hits, a hit batter and an error to make it 6-0.
Meanwhile, Chariho looked nothing like the team that blew a 5-0 lead then rallied for a 7-6 win over No. 2 Pilgrim on Thursday.
“We were all out of it today,” All-State outfielder Sarah Dias said. “We were trying to pick each other up and it just wasn’t working. The energy on the field and in the dugout was completely dead.”
Petrocellli refused to use Friday night’s graduation ceremony as a crutch.
“I’m not going to blame graduation,” he said. “It was last night. Today’s a different day. … We were just sluggish. It definitely wasn’t nerves or anything like that. We didn’t have it today.”
Coventry moved on to play No. 3 La Salle Sunday at Rhode Island College at 1 p.m. for the right to face top-seeded Moses Brown in the championship round.
For Dias and the Chargers, the end came too soon.
“It’s been a really good four years,” the senior said. “It’s just too bad that we lost. I thought we were going to go a little bit farther, but it’s got to end at some point.”
“We started out 0-2 — we lost our first two games,” Petrocelli said. “To come back and get to this point and reach the final four is pretty rewarding for the girls, so they can hold their heads high.”