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Westport 10-11 softball opens LL state tournament strong

Updated 1:48 pm, Wednesday, July 24, 2013
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The Westport Little League all-stars opened the 10-11 softball state tournament in convincing fashion on Tuesday.

The District 2 champions powered past Seymour 13-3 at Newington Memorial Field in the double-elimination tournament.

"We had scouted the play-in game of the two teams," said Westport manager Mark McWhirter, referring to Seymour's 13-1 win over Darien on Monday. "We knew we could do well if we played our game."

Westport advances to Friday's game against District 8 champion Enfield at 7:30 p.m. in Newington. Enfield defeated District 7 winner Glastonbury 21-6 on Tuesday to advance.

Catherine Connell pitched all six innings for Westport, striking out nine. She allowed just four hits and walked none.

McWhirter believes that Connell, paired with the team's other ace, Sophia Alfero, give the all-stars an edge over the competition.

"They can only pitch two innings in a game if they're going to pitch the following day," McWhirter said. "Having two No. 1 pitchers is a big advantage. ... It's a pretty good aresenal."

Alfero sparked the offense on Tuesday with four hits, while Erica Fanning had a two-run double. Madeline Howard added a triple.

McWhirter pointed to the team's talent and cohesion as key components in its success.

"The majority of them play travel ball together in Westport," he said. "They've all been playing together on a competitive level for four years now."

With a win Friday, Westport can advance to Monday's winner's bracket final in Newington.

The team is quickly building confidence.

"I think the only team that could beat us at this point is ourselves," McWhirter said. "The girls seem to be more experienced players and are very competitive. They take it seriously.

"They like to win. I could see them certainly competing for the title."

dbonjour@scni.com; 203-255-4561 ext. 114; twitter.com/DougBonjour

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