Yesterday was a very big day for Wilton softball. Both the 12U and 10U teams won their divisions of the Fairfield County Fastpitch Softball League Tournament.

For the younger 10U team (rising 5th and 6th graders), the girls battled injury and illness over the course of the tournament to win the championship today.

According to manager Chris Kelly, Wilton 10U was seeded 4th, and had to defeat New Canaan (5th seed) and Fairfield (1st seed) to make it to the championship game against Norwalk (3rd seed). Marin Burke and Grace Guglielmo earned co-MVP honors by pitching all three games. The offense in the championship game was led by Lauren Sanfilippo (three RBI), Katie Kelly (two hits and a sacrifice bunt) and Lucy Prior (three RBI).  Guglielmo drove in the winning run in the 7th inning. Allie Schwartz made the play of the game, turning a double play to end the game; she also scored three runs.

Additionally, Abby Schwartz scored a run, and both Abby Seeberger and Grace Costa drove in runs. Anna Morello was vital on defense in right field. (Other players on the roster but not at the tournament were Ava Filipponi, Sadie KlyverTeagan Stengrim and Kate Rusin.)

“We were short players for much of the tournament due to illness–Katie with pneumonia and Abby Schwartz with bronchitis, both of whom came back for today’s game weak but ready to play. We lost Gracie DiBuono-Krafick in the first game today to a knee injury, but before leaving the game, Gracie had driven in four runs,” Kelly said.

For the 12U team (rising 7th and 8th graders), the team went 1-0-2 in pool play, beating New Fairfield 13-4, tying Stamford 4-4 with three runs in the last inning, and tying Pomperaug 7-7, again with three runs in the last inning.

Those two ties put the team at the number-two seed on Sunday, earning a bye into the semi-finals. That brought a rematch with Stamford. Down 0-1 early, Wilton put up five runs to take the lead before winning 5-3. The win was helped by very good pitching from Dakota Kelly and a defense that led to the win, plus big hits by Dana Pettersen and Caitlin Wallace helping on offense.

The final was a rematch with Pomperaug. Both teams scored runs in the first four innings, after which Wilton had a 6-3 lead. Wilton then scored nine runs in the 5th, but proceeded to allow seven runs in the bottom of the inning. Pomperaug closed the gap to 15-14 going into the last inning. Wilton scored three insurance runs in the top of the 7th, and then got three quick outs in the bottom of the inning to win 18-14. Lots of offense (Kelly went 4-5 and many others got multiple hits and runs scored, including Brooke Bohacs, Ally van Heyst and Katherine Costanzo). Both sides got 16 hits each, and there was good defense by Avery Samai at shortstop, Avery Schestag behind the plate and Lauren Davis in center field.

In all, nine girls played out of the roster of 12, which also included Annabella Andre, Riya Shah and Ella Christ.

Head coach Mallory Rochefort was thrilled with her team’s performance. “The girls showed incredible heart and poise this weekend. They fought through adversity and came up clutch when it was needed. All season they have taken it one defensive out at a time and one at bat at a time, and it showed today. I am so proud of what they accomplished, from where they began, to where they finished.”

Coach Rommie Samai spoke about the raised profile of Wilton Softball in general, under the guidance of commissioner John Morello:

“At the end of last season, we saw an increased interest in softball within Wilton. We wanted to take that enthusiasm and turn it into an opportunity to grow the softball program. I know all the coaches on the 9U, 10U and 12U teams made a concerted effort to raise the stakes for travel softball, and I think this weekend was the payoff. The girls, and their families, were on board since those early winter workouts. The level of play and overall softball knowledge increased tremendously throughout the season. The girls should be very proud of their efforts. Great weekend! Great season!”