Softball: Wilton 10U team wins Sunrise Cottage tourney
In the 10U bracket of Ridgefield’s Sunrise Cottage Softball tournament, the Wilton 10U Blue travel team went 2-0-1 in Saturday pool play, which was good enough to earn them the second seed and a trip to the championship game against the 3-0 Connecticut Fury.
On Wednesday night, they defeated the Fury 3-2 to win the tournament. The bracket featured seven travel teams from New Canaan, Fairfield, Wilton, Ridgefield and Wolcott.
Wilton rolled to victory in its first two games of the tournament, defeating the New Canaan Pride, 9-4, and the Ridgefield Rebels, 14-8. Pitchers Grace Couch and Sofia Samai kept the Pride off-balance throughout the game, and a six-run third inning highlighted by doubles by Emma van Heyst and Annie McMahon sealed the victory for Wilton in their opening game.
Against Ridgefield, pitchers Kaitlin Feldman and Grace Couch threw strikes and enjoyed good defensive support to hold the Ridgefield offense in check. All Wilton batters got on base and scored at least one run. Kayleigh Whitters, Sarah Morris and Allison Rayment all had perfect games at the plate.
In its third game of the tournament, Wilton tied the New Canaan Rams, 5-5, in a back-and-forth affair. Samai threw a strong three and two-thirds innings before handing the ball to Couch to finish the game. Ava Gaudio, Grace and Ellie Qudeen all scored in the third inning to give Wilton a short-lived lead.
Trailing 5-3 with two outs in the top of the last inning, Wilton scored two runs on singles by van Heyst and Grace Qudeen and a double by McMahon to tie the game.
Couch struck out two in a scoreless bottom of the inning to secure the tie and the number-two seed.
Due to rain last Saturday night, all Sunday games were canceled and the championship game was rescheduled for Wednesday between Wilton Blue and The Connecticut Fury.
his was made possible by a class act Connecticut Fury organization, which refused to accept trophies in the mail based on their first-place-finish in pool play.
In the championship game, Wilton scored its only runs in the first inning. Ellie Qudeen fouled off a number of potential third strikes to work a leadoff walk. After stealing second and taking third on a wild pitch, she scored on van Heyst’s single. Van Heyst stole second and was moved to third by Ava Gaudio’s groundout to second.
Grace Qudeen knocked in van Heyst with a single, stole second and took third on a passed ball. McMahon then plated Qudeen with a groundout to the right side.
From there, Wilton protected its lead for the rest of the game through a combination of great pitching and defense.
Couch pitched a brilliant complete game, striking out 12 batters.
Catcher Ellie Qudeen was flawless behind the plate, blocking nearly every pitch in the dirt and keeping an aggressive Fury running game in check.
First basemen van Heyst and Gaudio both had great days defensively, as did second baseman Grace Qudeen and shortstop Sophia Viggiano.
Couch secured the win in the final inning by striking out the final two Fury batters with the tying run on third base.
“The girls were looking forward to playing in the tournament finals and we are appreciative of The Fury’s desire to do the same,” said head coach Amanda Samai. “Our girls came out today ready to play. They were focused from the first pitch and kept their intensity up throughout the game. This is something that we have been working on and they did a great job today of applying it.”