Staples softball bats around in comeback win
Trailing Norwalk 6-3 in the fifth inning, the comeback kids -- aka the Staples softball team -- did it again.
The WLady reckers battled back for a 10-6 win over the visiting Lady Bears Wednesday. Staples improved to 7-3 overall, and Norwalk dropped its seventh straight game to fall to 2-8.
Staples scored twice in the fifth to pull to within a run at 6-5, then sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth, and scored five times to take, and eventually pad, the lead.
"We didn't give up -- we had to fight. This was a big game for us," said outfielder Alexa Senia, who tripled down the left field line to drive in the tying run, and crossed home plate for a 7-6 edge on Nikki Bukovsky's single to right-center field. Sam Saccomano crushed a two-out, two-run triple for a 9-6 lead, and Catherine Lomato followed with a two-strike opposite-field RBI single to right to cap the scoring.
"That was really big for us. We needed a good, comfortable lead going into the seventh," said Saccomano, who started the game in the pitcher's circle, and exited in the top of the fifth -- temporarily -- with a jammed finger.
Saccomano hurt her thumb and wanted to pitch with a brace but the umpires couldn't allow her to, so Saccomano gave way to Emma Axthlem two pitches into the fifth inning, with the game tied 3-3. Axthlem surrendered an RBI single to pitching counterpart Patti Sciglimpaglia, and a two-run double to Eleini Petrides, giving the Lady Bears a 6-3 lead.
As Saccomano iced her thumb and began to warm up again to re-enter the game, the Wreckers chipped away in the sixth. Alex Masiello smacked an RBI single to left center and advanced to second on a throw home. Shannon Connors added an RBI single to get the hosts to within 6-5.
Axthlem remained in the circle and pitched around a leadoff walk and two errors, thanks, in part, to a caught stealing, and escaped the sixth unscathed. That set the stage for the Staples comeback. The fielding miscues were few and far between for the Lady Wreckers, as the Lady Bears put the ball in play all afternoon long.
"We usually start doing well later in the game which isn't a very good habit," said Masiello, whose Lady Wreckers opened the season with a comeback, final at-bat win over Ridgefield, and have a tendency to come to life offensively in the late innings. "But it works for us."
The win was a big one for Staples, especially after losing an error-marred game to Darien two days earlier. "It definitely gives us a lot more confidence after the last game," Masiello said.
Each team had a run in the first inning, and the Lady Wreckers took a 3-1 advantage in the second on Caitlin Kane's two-run hit. Bukovsky tried to score when the ball was bobbled, but was thrown out at home. Saccomano pitched a one-two-three third, but the Lady Bears drew even in the fourth.
Staples Coach Mark Giordano noted that Saccomano wasn't hitting her spots early in the game and, thus, the Bears were hitting the ball well. The Staples pitcher credited the defense, particularly outfielders Heather Rosoff, Senia and Kane, with playing a solid game in the field behind her. "Our defense definitely did an amazing job today. They helped me out there," Saccomano said.
Girodano wants to see his team sharpen up its base running and fielding, but continues to be impressed with his team's never-stop-battling attitude. The coach said its always more rewarding to come back to win, and that he wasn't surprised the girls pulled out the win in the late innings.
"They don't give up. We may make some mental mistakes early but they're not the kind of kids that are going to give up," Giordano said.