Zunda, Wilton top Greenwich, improve to 5-0

The Wilton High softball team scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning — and those would have been plenty.

Strong pitching from Sage Zunda, backed by solid defense, led Wilton to a 7-1 triumph over Greenwich on Friday afternoon in Wilton.

With the victory, the Warriors improved their record to 5-0. But after the game, Wilton head coach Brian Jacobs said his team needs to stay focused and grounded as it heads into the meat of its schedule.

“Today was a good win for us against a quality opponent, but it’s still early in the season and we have a long way yet to go,” said Jacobs, whose team lost to Greenwich twice last year. “The win today is a great confidence booster for the team, but I told the girls we have a lot of tough conference games ahead of us. Today we had good at-bats, played solid defense, and overall solid fundamental softball. And if we can keep that up we’ll be competitive in every game."

Wilton's Hannah Belanger led off the bottom of the first inning with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Eliza Ward, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. With two outs, a throwing error by the Greenwich third baseman allowed Belanger to score. Maddy Christl then singled and Emma Cropper walked to load the bases for Emily Ettie, who came through with an RBI single for a 2-0 Wilton lead.

Greenwich got its only run on a rundown play in the top of the third inning. With one out and runners on the corners, a Greenwich batter hit a fly ball to right field. Ettie caught the ball for the second out, and the runner on first broke toward second and got caught in a rundown. That runner  was finally tagged out, but not before the runner from third had crossed the plate.

In the bottom of the fourth, Wilton upped its lead to 4-1. Ward opened with a triple between the right and centerfielders and Zunda walked. Sophia Strazza then doubled home both runners.

The Warriors had a chance for more runs, but with the bases loaded a line drive to third resulted in an inning-ending double play.

Zunda was in complete control on the mound for the Warriors, allowing the Cardinals only four hits, while striking out seven and walking none. The only inning in which the visitors had more than one runner on base was the third.

"This year I’m trusting my pitches and I’m pitching with more confidence, knowing that I have the support of my defense behind me in both the infield and outfield,” said Zunda.“We have a strong freshman group this year and they have contributed to our early season success."

The Warrior defense was highlighted by Strazza, who had six assists and one put-out at shortstop, cleanly and smoothly fielding every ball hit to her.

Before Wilton came to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning, Jacobs told his players to add some insurance run. They heeded the advice, scoring three runs to go ahead 7-1.  Zunda and Strazza singled, and Christl reached when no one covered first base on her bunt. Ettie followed with a double to center that scored two runs, and the third run of the at-bat came on a fielder's choice.

Zunda then held Greenwich scoreless in the top of the seventh to end the game.

Notes: Wilton collected 11 hits in the victory. Belanger, Strazza, Ettie, and Christl had two hits apiece to lead the way.