NEW CANAAN — The New Canaan softball team kept getting runners on base and Westhill pitcher Eddy Aquino made sure they stayed there.

Aquino left 12 Rams’ base runners waiting to come home as Westhill defeated New Canaan 3-2 at Waveny Park Tuesday evening.

The loss eliminates New Canaan (10-9, 8-8 FCIAC) from the FCIAC playoff picture but the team will compete in the Class LL state tournament.

Westhill (17-2, 15-1) enters the FCIAC tournament this weekend as the No. 1 seed.

The Rams finally broke through in the bottom of the seventh on a 2-RBI single by Molly Rochlin, but Aquino was able to avoid further damage leaving the potential tying and winning runs on first and second base as she fielded a grounder hit back to her for the final out.

Aquino said she does not change her approach with runners on base, just sticks to the game plan and trusts her defense.

“Everything stays the same,” Aquino said. “I know we can make the plays, so, I’m not trying to pitch around anyone. I pitch it there and they will hit it, I am not a strikeout pitcher. I am not going to blow it past anyone but I know they are capable of making the plays.”

The Vikings defense was actually a bit shaky at times Tuesday, committing four errors, including one in the bottom of the seventh, opening the door for the Rams’ rally.

New Canaan has struggled to get runners home all season and that didn’t change Tuesday.

“That’s always the difference for us,” New Canaan coach Danielle Simoneau said. “Leaving them there and not getting them home hurts us every time. A 3-2 loss to Westhill is not really a loss. It feels good to compete with them and we played well. Gillian (Kane) pitched a great game but at the end of the day, it wasn’t our day.”

Westhill scratched out two runs in the top of the fourth with Jordan Benzaken scoring Gabby Laccona with a squeeze bunt and Kaira Ramon coming in to score on a passed ball.

The Vikings added an unearned run in the sixth after Benzaken reached on an error, coming in to score on a single to centerfield by Maddy Cortell, making it 3-0.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Eddy Aquino, Westhill. Aquino struck out six, going the distance for the win. She also fielded her position well, with six groundballs back to her for outs.

QUOTABLE

“Eddy pitched a great game and New Canaan has a good team, but we just didn’t play well,” Westhill coach Tom Pia said. “They were sound asleep. Blaming it on a hangover from yesterday’s game, that’s being gracious to them. It was the worst game they played all year long. We were not good to start the season and it was worse than that. Good for Eddy. She is pitching with pulled groin muscle and blister on her hand but she just battles. She’s a battler and she battles and battles and battles.”

KEY SEQUENCE

With the game still 0-0, New Canaan loaded the bases in the bottom of the third with one out and the heart of the order coming up. Aquino struck out the No. 4 hitter and got the next batter to pop up to Laccona at shortstop, ending the threat.

Sericson@stamfordadvocate.com; @EricsonSports

WESTHILL 3, NEW CANAAN 2

WESTHILL 000 201 0—3 2 4

NEW CANAAN 000 000 2—2 8 1

Records: W—17-2, 15-1; NC—10-9, 8-8

Batteries: W—Eddy Aquino (W) and Jordan Benzaken; NC—Gillian Kane (L) and Molly Keshin