NORTH STONINGTON — Bacon Academy downed Wheeler High’s softball team 9-1 in an out-of-division game between ECC schools Tuesday.
The Lions (14-4) were without starting pitcher Jenn Paride who was absent from school Tuesday with the flu. Freshman Sam Muller pitched for Wheeler, which was playing its fourth game in three days.
With Tuesday’s loss the Lions go into today’s quarterfinal round of the ECC tournament as the seventh seed. Wheeler will face second-seeded East Lyme (15-3) today at Griswold at 11:30 a.m.
If the Lions had beaten Bacon (9-9), they would have been the fifth seed.
Wheeler was coming off a big win over St. Bernard Monday that clinched the ECC-Small title. Paride pitched in both games of a doubleheader Saturday, 13 innings total, and eight innings Monday.
Paride, who has thrown 107 innings and has an ERA of 0.59 with 176 strikeouts, had missed the New London game on May 21 due to illness. Lions’ coach Joe Cawley said he hopes to her available for today’s tournament game.
“We’ve had a lot of games lately and it showed a little (Tuesday). We were coming off a big win Monday and it’s kind of human nature,” Cawley said. “Sam threw very well we just didn’t support her. Monday’s win took a lot, we had to come back and it was a high-emotion game with a tournament feel. To come back and play an ECC-Large team with some people out, it changes a lot of things.”
Muller ended up throwing seven innings. The freshman gave up nine runs (three earned) on 11 hits and struck out five.
Wheeler’s only run came in the second when Emma Stock drove in Micaela Bergel.
Bacon scored four in the second inning, plated two in the fifth and three in the seventh.
Today’s ECC Tournament appearance is a first for the Lions. Wheeler and East Lyme did not face each other during the regular season. The winner will face the winner of No. 3 Waterford and No. 6 Norwich Free Academy on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
GRISWOLD, Conn. — Griswold won the final ECC Small Division match of the season for both teams Tueaday and swept the home-and-away series with the Lions.
The Wolverines (8-9 overall) finished 6-4 in the Small. Wheeler (4-11) finished 4-6.
No. 3 Tyler Primmett shot 56 at River Ridge Golf Course and earned one of Wheeler’s point. He defeated his man by four shots.
No. 5 Peyton Mulhern won by six strokes with a 58.
Griswold’s No. 1 Peter Maurice was the only player to break 50 on the par-37 layout. He shot 49.
Wheeler winds up the regular season with a nonleague match at Old Saybrook today at 3 p.m., then competes in the ECC tournament on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at Great Neck Country Club.