Even in these bizarre times, silver linings exist! The Wilton Softball program was on the brink of shutting down for the 2020 season when the call was made that play could happen…albeit with many safety guidelines in place. None were more excited than the players to have a chance to get out on the field and be with their teammates once again. A chance for normalcy and a chance to win!
14U Finishes Where they Started–On the Diamond with Friends
Many of the girls on Wilton’s two 14U Softball teams have played together for years, so it was fitting that they ended their season facing off against one another. Wilton White played Wilton Blue on Friday evening one last time and they said farewell to longtime player Avery Schestag, who just missed an epic home run playing her last game for Wilton before moving to Michigan. It was a back and forth game but the score didn’t matter, as two teams of Friends played their hearts out one last time together and gave all who watched much-needed pure joy!
Warriors Battle Newtown for 12U FCFSL Championship
The Wilton 12U Softball team ended its month-long season with a 12-3-1 record and an FCFSL Championship to boot. Two of the team’s losses were to Newtown– one in the regular season and one during the end-of-season tournament. Newtown (1) and Wilton (3) first faced each other on Monday evening when the Warriors dropped the game with a 4-12 loss. Wilton then beat Norwalk on Tuesday to face Newtown once again in the Finals, needing to beat them twice to win the Championship.
Wednesday in Newtown, Wilton came out strong offensively. They scored 13 runs on 12 hits, allowing six runs to Newtown. But they had to beat them once again to take home the Championship trophy.
Thursday night in Wilton, pitchers for both teams came out to battle. Together both teams eaerned a total of six hits and 18 strikeouts combined, offering a true championship game at its best.
Newtown started the 7th with a walk, followed by two ground outs and a strikeout to bring the Warriors up for their last at-bats. Two strikeouts followed by a single and an error put the winning run on second base. Aggressive base stealing and a passed ball secured the win and the championship! Newtown 1, Wilton 2
Team parent Jackie Couch said, “Even in these times of uncertainty and un-normal activity, these 14 girls came together as a team to play as a team and to win as a team! Thank you Grace, Grace, Ellie, Elle, Emma, Emma, Sofia, Sophia, Riley, Kelly, Ava, Kayleigh, Kaitlin, and Olivia–thank you for bringing us all back together again and putting a sense of normalcy back into our lives!”
Wilton Softball Wins 2020 10U Fairfield County Fastpitch Softball Championship
The 10U Wilton Warriors won the Fairfield County Fastpitch Softball championship Friday night, notching a 7-1 record, outscoring their opponents 46-17, and outlasting nine other teams over a nine-day double-elimination tournament. They survived five elimination games on five consecutive nights, with two of those elimination games going to extra innings.
Wilton began the journey with a businesslike 3-1 victory over Ridgefield on the strength of runs batted in from Ava Rosado, Liesel Schmauch, and Riley McMahon. Pitcher Piper Keane struck out 13 in the win. They handled Trumbull the next night 6-2 on RBIs from McMahon, Keane, Ruby Prior, Maryn Priest, and Molly Mercer. Keane struck out 17 Trumbull batters.
They lost their next game to New Canaan 6-7, taking an early lead but ultimately falling victim to New Canaan’s clutch hitting in the bottom of the last inning. This loss, against the best team they saw this summer, sent Wilton to the loser’s bracket and brought with it a much longer road to the championship.
Wilton survived its first game in the loser’s bracket, defeating Norwalk 6-0 in extra innings. Keane threw a 20-strikeout no-hitter over seven innings. Wilton started the seventh inning tied 0-0 and finally wore down Norwalk’s excellent pitcher, who had shut them down for six innings. They pushed across six runs on RBI from Rosado, Mercer, Leianna Cross, Gracie Tomasulo (2), and Sarah Viggiano.
The win over Norwalk set up a rematch with Trumbull, which Wilton won 5-2 to advance to a semi-final game at Westport the next night. Wilton handily defeated Westport 8-0, earning a rematch with New Canaan in the finals.
Wilton visited an undefeated New Canaan, needing to win back-to-back games to earn the title. The first game saw exceptional pitching, with Keane holding New Canaan to one run and New Canaan pitchers Sadie Boroff and Leah Granskog holding the Warriors to one run through five innings. The game turned on two plays. In the bottom of the fifth inning, second baseman Viggiano and first baseman Priest produced a season-saving defensive play, with Priest knocking down a hotshot in the gap which Viggiano pounced on and flipped to Priest at first–notching the final out of the inning and preventing two runs from scoring. With two outs in the top of the last inning, Katerina Cross drove in Tomasulo with a squeeze bunt, beating out the throw to first. Keane then retired New Canaan in the bottom of the inning to secure the win.
The following night, Wilton hosted New Canaan in the winner-take-all championship game. They battled to a 3-3 tie after six innings, with Wilton taking an early 3-0 lead on excellent small-ball from Katerina Cross, Prior, Tomasulo, Leianna Cross, and Mercer. Wilton manufactured a three-run second inning by working walks, stealing bases, and executing two flawless bunt-and-runs. New Canaan answered in the fifth inning with three runs of its own, delivering a handful of timely two-out hits.
In extra innings, Wilton exploded for seven runs with four coming on bunts, walks, singles, and steals, highlighted by a single from Schmauch and Keane taking home on a defensive miscue. Keane was on base due to an intentional walk. Wilton scored its last three runs of the season on a two-out, bases-clearing blast by McMahon, who had been intentionally walked with two outs in the previous inning. Keane calmly closed the door in the bottom of the seventh, striking out the final batter to claim the championship 10-4.
Keane proved the dominant pitcher of the tournament, throwing all 48 innings the Warriors played and striking out 114 batters over eight games. She was supported by a sure-handed defense comprised of first-baseman Priest, second-baseman Viggiano, shortstop Prior, third-baseman Tomasulo, catcher McMahon, centerfielder Schmauch and corner outfielders Kat and Leianna Cross, Mercer, and Rosado.
Head coach Meghan Keane commented, “I am so proud of this team. The passion and work ethic they brought to a five-week season was incredible. To end with a run of close, well-played games (some of them extra-innings) was nothing short of spectacular.”