New Canaan softball team scores late run to edge Greenwich
Updated 10:03 pm, Wednesday, May 15, 2013
GREENWICH -- Greenwich had runners on base in all but one inning and produced 13 hits in Wednesday's softball game against New Canaan High School. Yet that one clutch hit eluded the Cardinals the whole afternoon.
Rams pitcher Ali Reilly made sure it did.
The junior right-hander rose to the occasion when the pressure was on, pitching out of several jams in New Canaan's 3-2 win over host Greenwich in a significant late-season FCIAC game.
Both teams already clinched spots in the FCIAC Tournament, but one win in the few remaining regular season games can go a long way. Greenwich (14-5, 13-4 FCIAC), which entered the game riding a seven-game winning streak, went into Wednesday tied with Darien and Stamford for third place in the FCIAC, while New Canaan (13-6, 12-5) stood in seventh place, but could move up with the victory.
The Cardinals left nine runners on base, four of which came during the last two innings when they put runners on first and second. Using a variety of pitches, Reilly (6-3) had the Greenwich hitters off balance numerous times.
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"I like to mix in a change-up, work in my curve ball and hit them inside with a screwball," said Reilly, who recorded eight strikeouts. "I was doing anything to shut the innings down. I have so much faith in the girls behind me and I know if they put the ball in play they are going to get it. The additional pressure of being in those situations is fun."
Senior third baseman Marlee Ready went 4 for 4 with an RBI, while senior outfielder Cydney Ventura had two hits and two RBI for the Rams. Second baseman Colleen Bennett was 4 for 4, while shortstop Rebecca Decarlo and Gabby Fratello each had two hits for GHS.
"Today's the game when we needed to play mistake-free softball and capitalize with runners on base, but unfortunately we couldn't do that," said Decarlo, who scored two runs.
Senior left-hander Alison Kach suffered the tough loss, striking out four while yielding 11 hits and just two earned runs. The Rams scored the go-ahead run in the sixth inning. Reilly reached on an infield single, stole second and scored when first baseman Amanda Frattaroli reached on an outfield error on a difficult play, making it 3-2. First baseman Ebba Mark and Fratello each singled in the sixth inning, while Bennett and Kach hit singles in the seventh. Reilly, however, kept her cool, keeping the Cards off the scoreboard to secure the win.
"Ali doesn't get rattled," New Canaan coach Danielle Simoneau said. "She stays calm and focuses on what she has to do."
Cydney Ventura drove in Abby Jenkins from third with a slow roller down the first base line in the third inning, giving the Rams a 1-0 edge. Ready followed with an RBI double to left field. The Rams' No. 3 hitter was thrown out at third trying to stretch her hit into a triple, but the run scored and the visitors had a 2-0 lead.
Greenwich got a run back in the bottom of the third. Decarlo and Bennett hit consecutive singles and Kach delivered a sacrifice fly, making it a 2-1 game. The Cards drew even in the fifth inning. Decarlo doubled, Bennett reached on an infield single and Decarlo scored the tying run on a wild pitch. GHS could have done more damage throughout, but Reilly escaped further trouble nearly every inning.
"She was a good pitcher, but every inning we had people on base and we definitely should have scored more than two runs," Greenwich coach Mary Beth Fratello said. "She had us off balance a little bit."
"Greenwich has come leaps and bounds and is a fantastic team," Simoneau said. "Hats off to Ali (Reilly) for her performance today."
The Cardinals will visit Danbury Friday at 4 p.m., while the Rams will host Wilton Thursday.
"We have a spot in the FCIAC Tournament, but we need to capitalize on our last regular season game against Danbury," Decarlo said. "We need to have the upper hand on the other teams since they're veterans in the FCIAC Tournament."
nEW CANAAN 3, GREENWICH 2
NEW CANAAN 002 001 0 -- 3 10 0
GREENWICH 001 010 0 -- 2 13 1
Batteries: NC -- Ali Reilly (W 6-3) and Jordan Ventura. G -- Alison Kach (L) and Erin Ferguson. Records: Greenwich 14-5, 13-4 FCIAC; New Canaan 13-6, 12-5 FCIAC.