Walk-off homer caps Masuk softball’s big win

Masuk players celebrate Julia Bacoulis' homer as they wait for her to circle the bases.

MONROE, CT — Julia Bacoulis ended a back-and-forth battle with visiting North Branford by slugging a walk-off home run as the Masuk High softball team earned a 7-4 win on Saturday afternoon.

“It felt good. All I was trying to do was hit a line drive in the gap,” said Bacoulis, who cleared the left field wall with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Masuk Coach Leigh Barone noted that Bacoulis was a bit out in front in her previous at bats and did a good job of staying back and driving the ball.

Julia Bacoulis hit the game-winning homer in a 7-4 victory over North Branford.

“It shows how much power she has,” Barone said of the ball clearing the fence.

The decisive hit was set up by freshman Ciena Perpetuo working a walk on a full-count pitch with one out and Natalie Lieto extending the inning with a two-out single to left.

Masuk scheduled challenging nonconference games such as this one with North Branford for the purpose of being prepared for tough playoff games, said Barone adding younger players such as Perpetuo, a freshman, also gain valuable experience in pressure spots.

“I think it’s going to help us in the future when we play good teams like this,” Bacoulis said.

“I’m very happy,” said Barone, adding that several team members picked each other up with timely hits.

Masuk jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Alyssa Castillo’s two-run single. North Branford went ahead with a three-run homer off pitcher Bacoulis in the fourth. Masuk had two runners aboard in the bottom of the fourth but did not capitalize.

The Panthers did come through in the clutch in the fifth. Grace Ely singled and Castillo reached on a fielder’s choice. Madison Aguirre followed by ripping a two-run double to left, giving Masuk a 4-3 edge.

Alyssa Castillo heads home with a run during Masuk’s win over North Branford.

North Branford tied it with a run on a wild pitch in the sixth. Masuk had two runners on in its half of the sixth but both were left stranded and the game remained tied.

Masuk has had some impressive, hard-fought wins this spring, including a 2-1 win over visiting Southington on April 9 and a 4-3 edging of host Brookfield on April 15.

In the Southington game Ely drove in both runs, including the go-ahead run on a late-game homer.

Against Brookfield Ely delivered a clutch three-run double and Aguirre had an RBI single as Masuk built a 4-1 lead and held on.

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