U10 softball: Westport shuts out Seymour for state championship
Updated 11:34 pm, Saturday, July 30, 2016
TRUMBULL — With no team having scored more than four runs in any of the games in the U10 softball state tournament, runs were sure to be at a premium in the final game between Westport and Seymour on Saturday at Unity Park.
Four was the magic number for Westport, and with an unhittable ace in the circle, the title was captured.
Behind a complete game shutout from Morgan Carnahan and RBI hits from a trio of players, Westport won its second straight state title at the U10 level, this time with a 4-0 win over Seymour.
“It was really exciting for everybody,” Westport shortstop Grace Alfero said. “We all get along really well together; we are such a fun group and have fun with each other.”
Westport plated all four of its runs in a frenzied third inning, batting around the order and capitalizing on a pair of Seymour errors. Grace Alfero delivered the bit hit of the inning, an RBI triple that gave Westport a 2-0 lead. She would score on an RBI single from Carnahan. Kate McDonald and Olivia Stubbs also drove in a run during the inning.
“We hung in there,” said Seymour coach Frank Orosz. “We had one bad inning in the field and that kind of did us in. If you don’t score, you can’t win anyway.”
Carnahan sat down batters one by one and once again dominated the competition. Facing two batters above the minimum, Carnahan allowed just one single, one walk and recorded 11 strikeouts less than a week after shutting out Seymour in pool play.
“I felt really good on the mound,” Carnahan said. “My team was really helping me out and I think we did pretty well.”
Carnahan was a steadying presence for Westport throughout the tournament. In the sectional and state tournaments, Carnahan made five starts — all wins — and allowed only three runs.
“She came to play today,” Westport coach Lou Alfero said. “She had a good changeup whenever we used it; she’s a heck of a pitcher. We have worked so much on her defense and she’s gotten so much better fielding the ball.”
Seymour lost to Westport 4-0 to begin pool play, then beat Vernon/Rockville and Waterford by a single run to reach the final. A win by Seymour would have set a winner-take-all rematch on Sunday, but Westport didn’t leave that to chance.
“I’m really proud of the way we played,” Orosz said. “We lost the first game to Westport and we battled back. We just got stymied again by (Carnahan); the girls had a great season and I’m proud of them.”
Seymour starter Madeline Orosz struck out six batters and allowed six hits in five innings.
The U10 team claimed its second consecutive state title, and joined the U11 club as state champions this summer.
“We’ve really amped up the program,” Alfero said. “The instruction, the winter program; this was a town that took softball for two months a year and now we have a travel team for 10 months. Success breeds success.”