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Ventura strikes out 11 as New Canaan tops Staples

Updated 9:08 pm, Wednesday, April 24, 2013
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The New Canaan High softball team did a little bit of everything to snap its two-game losing streak Wednesday afternoon at Waveny Park.

The Rams were sharp in the field, they picked up some timely two-out hits and they made Staples pay for a defensive miscue or two. And perhaps most importantly, they got tremendous pitching from starter Cydney Ventura.

Ventura went the distance, allowing just three hits and striking out 11 as the Rams topped the Wreckers 5-1.

Her twin sister, Jordan Ventura, led the way offensively, going 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI.

"I'd say that the bats definitely backed me up here," Cydney said. "Today I was kind of off at the plate, but definitely on the mound I felt confident with my team backing me up. Everyone's awake even if we're winning."

Sharp defense by the Rams also contributed to the victory, as they committed just one error.

"Excellent start (by Cydney). It's nice to have a `W' back off of a loss yesterday," New Canaan coach Danielle Simoneau said. "It feels good that they stayed in it for seven innings and played the way they can. Staples is a good team."

After Cydney struck out the side in the top of the first inning, Jordan gave New Canaan the lead in the bottom half with a two-out single that plated Marlee Ready.

But Jordan didn't stop there. Again stepping to the dish with two outs in the third, she jumped on a fastball, pulling it down the left-field line for a two-run inside-the-park home run and a 3-0 lead.

"Those always feel good," Jordan said. "At the plate this year, I think I'm just staying more relaxed and not going for the fence, even though we don't have a fence."

New Canaan (7-4) pushed two more runs across in the fourth inning when an infield single by Colette Pellegrini and subsequent Staples throwing error allowed both Brittany Overacker and Abby Jenkins to score.

Pellegrini and Ali Reilly also had multi-hit days for the Rams.

Facing a five-run deficit to begin the seventh inning, the Wreckers refused to go quietly as Shannon Connors led off by belting a home run to center field to make it 5-1.

"I thought we were pretty evenly matched. It was really going to come down to who made the fewest mistakes, and we made a couple costly ones," Staples coach Sara Holland said. "We just need to be a little bit cleaner. I think the girls have done a really good job coming together to play. I'm happy with where we're headed."

New Canaan then committed its lone error of the day, allowing Staples' Maggie Mills to reach. Next up, Katherine Friend smacked a liner to center, but Pellegrini fired to second for the force out. After a double by the Wreckers' Bridget Johnson, Cydney sealed the win by striking out the next two batters.

"I'm happy with the way we're playing," Jordan said. "There are some games that we could do better, but we're definitely coming together as a team. We're all used to each other, so it's going to be a good season and I'm excited."

jchik@bcnnew.com; Twitter: @jchik17

NEW CANAAN 5, STAPLES 1

STAPLES 000 000 1 -- 1 3 3

NEW CANAAN 102 300 x -- 5 6 1

Records: Staples 6-4; New Canaan 7-4.

Batteries: S -- Katherine Burke (L), Nicole Bukovsky (5) and Maggie Mills; NC -- Cydney Ventura (W) and Jordan Ventura.

Highlights: S -- Shannon Connors hit a home run. Nicole Bukovsky pitched two shutout innings in relief and notched a single and pair of walks. Bridget Johnson had a double and a walk. NC -- Jordan Ventura went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI. Cydney Ventura threw a complete game and struck out 11. Colette Pellegrini went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

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