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Pengal’s two-run home run in seventh lifts Avon past Simsbury, 2-0

Avon pitcher Jackie Pengal struck out 12 batters on the mound and hit a two-run homer in the seventh to help Avon beat Simsbury on Friday.

AVON, May 17 – Freshman pitcher Jackie Pengel has helped the Avon High softball team earn their first CIAC state tournament berth since 2001.

She has brought strength and consistency to the pitching mound with 11 complete games, including a career-high 20 strikeouts in a 12-inning loss to Hall last week.

Pengel was outstanding on Friday at Fisher Meadow against Simsbury. She limited the Trojans to just five hits and struck out 12 batters. At the plate, she had all three of Avon’s hits, including a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift Avon to a 2-0 CCC West victory.

Tied at 0-0, Chloe Jordan walked with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Pengel followed with a home run to center field to win the game. It was her second home run in the last three games and her fourth homer of the season.

Pengel was 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBI for Avon, which improves to 10-6 overall and 3-5 in the CCC West Patriot Division.

Pengel helped keep Simsbury (8-10, 3-6 CCC West Patriot) at bay. In the seventh inning, Simsbury’s Julia Lukowitz tripled with one out to left field. But Pengel got back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

In the sixth inning, Simsbury had runners on first and third base with two outs but Pengel got a strikeout to get out of the jam.

Simsbury also got out of some jam in the fourth inning to keep the game scoreless. Avon loaded the bases with no outs when Amanda Hasler walked, Elizabeth Jerger was hit by a pitch and Kendra Hards reached on a fielder’s choice.

The first out came when Simsbury catcher Jordan Aeschlimann scooped up a bunt from Nicole Detora and tagged out Hasler, who was trying to score from third base on a suicide squeeze bunt. Avon’s Michaelina Centofantis’ ground ball to shortstop allowed Erin Jennings to throw out Jerger at home for the second out.

Simsbury pitcher Brooke Witkin got a strikeout to end the inning. Witkin went the distance, allowing three hits and five walks. She fanned four.

Avon returns to action on Saturday when they host MLC (Metropolitan Learning Center-Bloomfield) at 10 a.m. at Fisher Meadow in the final home game of the season.

The Falcons will face rival Farmington on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at Tunxis Meade Park in Farmington. Avon’s 10 wins is the most in a single season for the Falcons since 2001 when they went 11-8.

Avon 2, Simsbury 0
At Avon
Simsbury (8-10)                  000  000  0  — 0-5-0
Avon (10-6)                          000  000  2  — 2-3-0
Brooke Witkin and Jordan Aeschlimann; Jackie Pengal and Amanda Hauser; WP: Pengal (9-4); LP: Witkin; 2B: Aeschlimann (S); 3B: Julia Lukowitz (S); HR: Pengal

As of May 17

CCC West 2019    
Patriot Division Div. Overall
x-Farmington 8-1 14-4
Glastonbury 5-3 9-8
Avon 3-5 10-6
Simsbury 3-6 8-10
Colonial Division Div. Overall
x-Southington 9-0 13-3
Hall 3-6 11-6
Conard 2-6 3-14
N.W. Catholic 1-7 4-14

x-clinched division title

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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