Westport U10 softball reach state finals
TRUMBULL — One win away from a championship with two chances to do it.
The summer season continues to bring out the best in the Westport U10 softball team, which has fended off a series of tough challengers with close wins. Westport’s latest, a 4-2 win over Vernon/Rockville on Thursday at Unity Park, puts them in the state finals.
Westport will await the winner of Vernon and Seymour — which Westport defeated 5-0 Wednesday — in the finals on Saturday. Should Westport lose that game, a winner-take-all game would follow Sunday.
“That was a tough one today,” Westport coach Lou Alfero said. “The game got a little tighter when (Vernon) brought in their second pitcher. I think the kids need the day off. We want to play the least amount of games possible.”
Morgan Carnahan led the way against Vernon with two hits and three RBI, and battled on the mound despite issuing seven walks to earn the win. Westport’s strong defensive play continued with another errorless game.
Carnahan struck out 11 batters.
“We talk about all the time that we like to pitch and play defense,” Alfero said. “That’s what we do; I like to score 10 runs but that doesn’t happen every game.”
Carnahan socked a two-run double in the bottom of the first that gave Westport a 2-0 lead. The advantage grew to 3-0 in the third as Grace Alfero reached base and scored when Dylan Halky was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Vernon threatened in the middle innings, stranding two runners in the third and fourth innings. The visitors finally broke through with a two-run single with two outs in the fifth, but the shot woke up Westport.
Grace Alfero led off the bottom half of the inning with a triple, and scored on a single from Carnahan. Westport loaded the bases but didn’ score again. Carnahan returned to the circle for the sixth and struck out the side.
“We were able to get that leadoff triple and a big insurance run,” Alfero said. “That was big; I almost took (Carnahan) out. I knew she threw a lot of pitches, that extra run helped me a lot.”
Battle tested from competing against the best teams from Fairfield County, Westport continued to thrive in close games. Westport topped Darien 2-1 for the Section 1 title and defeated Fairfield in extra innings for the District 2 crown.