New Canaan softball team wins fifth straight
NEW CANAAN -- When the top eight teams in the FCIAC playoff race are separated by a single game, there isn't much margin for error.
Although it notched just one extra-base hit, a double by Ali Reilly, the New Canaan lineup got contributions from top to bottom, as every starter reached base and five chipped in with multi-hit games.
"It is nice to see. The girls have been working really hard at hitting and pitch selection and what's my pitch, and what's not a good one and what do I do with this?" New Canaan coach Danielle Simoneau said. "Once they start to feel it and believe, they'll be unstoppable."
After leaving five runners on base in the first two innings, the Rams broke through with two in the third. Marlee Ready and Jordan Ventura set the table with consecutive singles to lead off the inning, and Courtney Rogers knocked in Ready with an RBI single. Two batters later, Brittany Overacker notched an RBI single of her own to plate Jordan Ventura for the 2-0 lead.
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"We were able to get our runs in by just chipping away each inning," Ready said. "We didn't need any big, monstrous hits to get anyone in. Balls were falling in and we had some very timely hits."
With two outs and no one on base for the Rams in the bottom of the fourth, Jordan Ventura and Rogers picked up consecutive singles and each scored on a Warde error.
Fairfield Warde picked up its lone run in the top of the fifth when Emma Houghton scored on a wild pitch. Trailing 4-1, the Mustangs loaded the bases with two outs, and Warde's Brianna West smacked a line drive down the right field line, only to be denied by Ali Reilly's sprinting catch.
"Definitely a game-changer," Simoneau said. "It's key for Ali because she's not too comfortable out there, but it proves to her that she definitely can do it."
New Canaan tacked on a run in the bottom of the fifth when Ready hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Abby Jenkins, who led off the inning with a single.
Fairfield Warde starter Gabby Natoli pitched all six innings for her team while giving up five runs (three earned) on 12 hits, four walks and three strikeouts.
Cydney Ventura went the distance for New Canaan by permitting five hits, striking out five and walking two.
"Sometimes I don't even get a ball at third base because batters can't get around on it," Ready said. "It's really nice playing behind (Ventura and Reilly) because we all try to cheer them on as they're going, and I know they have a lot of fun when they play too."
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New Canaan 5, Fairfield Warde 1
FAIRFIELD WARDE 000 010 0--1 5 1
NEW CANAAN 002 210 X--5 12 0
Records: Fairfield Warde 6-11, 5-10 FCIAC; New Canaan 11-4, 10-3 FCIAC. Batteries: FW--Gabby Natoli (L) and Brianna West; NC--Cydney Ventura (W) and Jordan Ventura. Highlights: FW--Emma Houghton singled and scored a run. Michele Treglia, West, Liz O'Reilly, and Julia Palmieri all singled. NC--Marlee Ready went 2-for-3 with an RBI sacrifice fly. Jordan Ventura went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Courtney Rogers and Brittany Overacker went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Ali Reilly went 2-for-4 with a double.