STRATFORD \u2014 You can\u2019t coach speed. In addition to everything it has in a diverse arsenal, it\u2019s something that Masuk has in spades. And speed destroyed North Haven in one disastrous inning during the teams\u2019 Class L semifinal Tuesday afternoon. One infield ground ball after another led to a safe runner at every base for the Panthers, who sent 13 batters to the plate and scored eight times in a fourth inning that propelled them to the championship game. Masuk beat North Haven 8-4 at DeLuca Field, keeping its hopes of a second straight Class L title alive. \u201cI know the top of our lineup is extremely fast,\u201d Masuk junior Maddie Procyk said. \u201cThey can hit wherever and beat it out, especially in the infield. We just knew we had to run everything out going into the game; we knew if we put the ball in play there were going to be errors somewhere as with any team.\u201d The Indians played stellar defense all season behind senior ace Lauren Card, but the Masuk machine made things happen in a quick barrage. The Panthers scored three straight runs on fielders choices, two of which runners beat the throw to home plate. Few balls left the infield during the wild stretch, but outs weren\u2019t made. \u201cThat one inning killed us,\u201d North Haven coach Karen Castagnola said. \u201cI think there was a lot of miscommunication there; they are quick but you have get the outs. They have great speed on the bases.\u201d The floodgates soon opened, and the exclamation point came from Procyk. She socked a two-run double to left field that made it 6-0. With Sam Schiebe in the circle for Masuk, the game was effectively over. It almost wasn\u2019t, though, as the Indians attempted a late rally. North Haven loaded the bases with no outs trailing 8-2, and got a pair of runs, including one on a wild pitch that made it 8-4. But Schiebe avoided total disaster by retiring the final batter with the potential tying run in the on-deck circle. \u201cI know my girls can hit, they just needed a little confidence,\u201d Castagnola said. \u201cNobody was hitting in the beginning of the game, then they started hitting with runners on. It was too little to late for us unfortunately.\u201d WEB GEM It wouldn\u2019t be a key game for Masuk without an outstanding play from one of the best defensive players in the state. With the score 0-0, senior center fielder Meg McFarland ended up on the other side of the fence after a diving catch, but the ball remained in her glove and she celebrated with her teammates. \u201cWe play this game in practice called 21 outs , and our outfield has very little gaps because Meg can just run and grab anything,\u201d Procyk said. \u201cIt\u2019s really important she\u2019s out there, when people start hitting we need her. We\u2019re fired up; she\u2019s very humble about it but we get so excited for her. She\u2019s just like \u2018yea, I caught it,\u2019 but we get pumped up about it.\u201d QUOTABLE \u201cThis was a real challenge of a game,\u201d Procyk said. \u201cSo this was our big game going into the final and it prepares us for the final. I know last year we were undefeated but this year we had a loss and I think that was good for us. It prepared us for getting down.\u201d JACKETS STING If East Haven played in the SWC during the regular season instead of the SCC, it would have likely won far more than the 11 they accrued. And thanks to completely crushing two SWC foes in the last two rounds, the Yellow Jackets will get a chance to topple the best from that conference to complete a remarkable run to a state championship. Sophomore pitcher Victoria Heapy tossed another gem amidst a special postseason, tossing a one-hitter as the 16th-seeded Yellow Jackets reached the Class L final with a 11-0 win over No. 4 Brookfield in the nightcap. Heapy, Kayla Rosario and Brooke Clancy all hit home runs for the East Haven, which will face Masuk in the championship round. The Yellowjackets scored five times in both the second and sixth innings to blow out Brookfield, which beat Windsor in the previous round. \u201cWhen we have that one person get a hit it becomes contagious,\u201d said Heapy. \u201cWe string together hits and we keep rolling.\u201d Heapy \u2014 who blanked St. Joseph 2-0 in the upset of the season in the second round \u2014 retired the first 11 batters she faced before Parchinski drew a walk. She walked two other batters but prevented a hit with a sliding catch near home plate early on. The remarkable ride continues for the Yellow Jackets, who could complete a remarkable journey from not qualifying for their conference tournament \u2014 thanks to a difficult schedule \u2014 to winning a Class L title. \u201cStarting 0-3, it wasn\u2019t really our hitting that was keeping us down,\u201d said Yellow Jackets assistant Jeff Crisafi. \u201cOur defense was really letting us down. As the season got warmer, (Heapy) warmed up and we got better every day.\u201d A YEAR AHEAD With just one senior on the roster this year, \u2014 shortstop Adriana Fiori \u2014 the Bobcats appear well set up for 2020. Brookfield survived several tough defeats and a first-round exit in the SWC quarterfinals to make it to the final four for a second straight year. \u201cWe had a young team that didn\u2019t give up,\u201d Bobcats coach Nick Castellano said. \u201cI\u2019m so proud of all of them. \u2026 The girls stayed in the game even though they hit so many shots. I\u2019ll go to battle with these girls every day.\u201d QUOTABLE \u201cI\u2019ve been confident because I\u2019ve been on a roll, I just have to stay confident,\u201d Heapy said. \u201cI just have to keep throwing. My velocity is up, I\u2019m hitting my spots and I\u2019m in a good place right now.\u201d email@example.com, @ryanlacey11 EAST HAVEN 11, BROOKFIELD 0 EAST HAVEN050 015 0 \u2014 11 15 0 BROOKFIELD000 000 0 \u2014 0 1 1 Records: East Haven 14-9, Brookfield 18-6. MASUK 8, NORTH HAVEN 2 NORTH HAVEN000 002 2 \u2014 4 6 3 MASUK000 800 X \u2014 8 8 0 Records: North Haven 22-4, Masuk 25-1.