Softball: Ridgefield rallies to edge Wilton, 3-2

Mallory Shofi’s two-out single in the top of the fifth drove in the winning run as the Ridgefield High softball team rallied for a 3-2 win over Wilton on Monday in Wilton.

The Warriors had just taken a 2-1 lead in the fourth, but the Tigers opened the fifth with back-to-back triples by Kailey Westington and Kendall Rogoff, with pinch runner Julia McSpedon scoring on Rogoff’s triple. Shofi then grounded a ball over the third-base bag to score Claire Filaski, who was pinch running.

Wilton threatened in the sixth as a double by Eliza Ward and walks by Juliana Musilli and Maddy Christl loaded the bases with two outs, but Ridgefield pitcher Westington ended the threat with a strikeout.

Westington retired the side in order in the seventh to clinch the win.

Wilton dropped to 5-6 with the loss, while Ridgefield improved to 6-5.

“It was a great game. We went out there and battled for seven innings,” said Wilton head coach Brian Jacobs. “It was definitely one of those games where, if we both play like that, we could play 10 games and they’d be one-run games every time.”

The Warriors are still without senior captain and starting pitcher Zaga Zunda, who is injured, but got strong efforts on the mound from a pair of freshmen, Kate Shouvlin and Claire Wilson.

Shouvlin pitched five innings, allowing no runs on six hits and no walks, striking out two. Wilson pitched the fourth and fifth innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk, with one strikeout.

Westington got the win, pitching the final six innings and allowing two runs on six hits and two walks, with six strikeouts.

Ridgefield took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Amanda Kelly reached on an error and later scored on Brandy Mauro’s RBI single. With two runners on and no outs, Wilson bore down and got three straight outs, including a strikeout, to prevent further damage,

The Warriors plated two runs in the fourth with a two-out rally, as Ward singled and scored on Musilli’s shot to left centerfield that went for a double. Musilli then scored on an RBI single up the middle by Maya Farrell.

The Tigers threatened to add an insurance run, or more, in the top of the seventh when they loaded the bases with no outs. But Shouvlin got a big strikeout, a force-out at the plate, and a groundout to escape the inning with no runs.

For Wilton, Warde went 2-for-3 with a double and run scored, while Musilli had a double, walk, RBI and run scored. Also with hits were Hannah Belanger (double), Farrell (RBI) and Wilson, while Christl walked.

For the Tigers, Westington, Rogoff, Kelly and Shofi had two hits each. Sydnie DeMarco had a hit and walk, with other hits by Lauren Bayer and Mauro.

Wilton got some excellent plays at third by Wilson early in the game. She handled a hot smash with runners on second and third and one out to prevent a run in the second inning, and snagged a low line drive to end a threat in the third. She had five assists and one putout in the first three innings.

For Ridgefield, second baseman Sabrina Grizzaffi made a nice over-the-head catch of a pop into short right field in the second inning. In the fourth, third baseman Mauro made a good play to get a glove on Sophia Strazza’s hard smash into the hole on the left side of the infield. The ball deflected to DeMarco at shortstop and she was able to get the out at first.

Coach Jacobs said Wilton is still waiting for Zunda to be cleared to play, but is hoping the four-year starter will be back in the lineup in the next week.

“When you have a senior captain with all that experience in the circle and at the plate, she’s a key part of the lineup in many different ways, you’re definitely missing something there, but we’ve done a good job of stepping up behind her,” he said. “We’ve had some kids who have done a good job stepping in. Kate’s been throwing the ball well for us the last few games and Claire came in and gave us a couple of good innings.”