Softball: Wiltonians key Uprising run to FCSL championship

Four Wilton players helped the 14U Ridgefield Rebels Uprising take home the Fairfield County Fastpitch Softball League championship last Sunday with a 7-1 win over the Bethel Blast in the title game.

The Rebels, coached by Heather Sabino of Wilton and Fran Kiernan, featured girls from Ridgefield, Redding/Easton, Wilton, New Fairfield and Weston.

Wilton players were Eliza Ward, Sommer Rogg, Sophie Phelan and Pippa Gosden.

The team put on an impressive performance at the league tournament, going undefeated.

The tournament took place in Bethel and ran from Friday through Sunday.

The Rebels opened the tourney against the powerful Bethel Blast team. The Rebels, who had fallen to the Blast twice in the regular season, were up to the challenge. In the Rebels half of the first inning, leadoff batter Eliza Ward started off with a single. She then advanced to second on a single by the number-three batter Sommer Rogg. After the next two batters were hit by pitches, shortstop Sydnie DeMarco cleared the bases on a ball hit over the left fielder’s head. The Rebels scored four runs in the inning and went on to win the game 7-2.

Pippa Gosden and Sophie Phelan each contributed singles in the Rebels victor. The Uprising defense was led by starting second baseman Rogg, who contributed several web-gems throughout the game.

In the final day of pool-play on Saturday, the Uprising defeated the Danbury Crush, 9-1. Rogg pitched a complete-game no-hitter, completely shutting down the Crush offense. Phelan was Rogg’s battery for the game, and had a solid catching performance behind the plate. Rogg led the Rebels offense by going 3-for-3 with a double. Kailey Westington from Ridgefield and Gosden had two hits each. Ward, Phelan and Maddy Meech of Weston had a hit and run scored apiece. The Rebels had 11 hits in the game.

The final pool-play game was against an impressive Newtown Hawks lineup. However, the Rebels were not fazed by their opponent. Westington got the start on the rubber while the defense was led by shortstop DeMarco and second basemen Rogg, who had a combined total of 10 putouts in the game. Rogg had another multi-hit game with a single and a double, while Gosden, Ward, Phelan and Meech all had hits that contributed to the 10-0 victory.

After going undefeated in pool play, the Rebels achieved the top seed and were ready for the elimination round Sunday. Their road to victory began in the semifinal game against the Fairfield Fury. Ward gave the Rebels a solid defensive effort behind the plate, while offensively she continued to show her strength with two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Rogg continued with her hot bat, going 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. The offense was rounded out with DeMarco going 3-for-4, while Taylor Alward from New Fairfield, Lydia Dazzo from Redding/Easton, Meech and Gosden all contributed hits in the 7-2 victory.

The Uprising needed one more win to capture the championship, but had to again get by the Bethel Blast, which was looking for revenge from its pool-play defeat to the Rebels.

Emotions were high and defense was tight as both teams remained scoreless until the fourth inning, when the Blast scored on timely hits. The red-hot Rebels offense proved they were not going down without a fight, answering with three runs in their bottom half of the inning to put them in the lead.

Westington got the complete-game victory on the mound, allowing just one run on four hits with nine strikeouts. Ward caught her second game in a row behind the plate to help Westington and the rest of the Rebels defense get out of several situations where the Blast threatened to score but ended up being shut down by strong defensive play.

Ward and Rogg both went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI apiece, while Phelan came up in a key situation to contribute another RBI in the Rebels 7-1 championship victory.

Rogg was named the Rebels team MVP in the tournament after going 13-for-18 at the plate and contributing flawless defense, while also pitching a no-hitter against the Crush on Saturday.

The Rebels offense for the season was led by Redding/Easton resident Mackenzie Lynch, who hit .420. Not far behind was Sommer Rogg and Eliza Ward, who hit .411 and .410, respectively. The Uprising lineup was rounded out by Pippa Gosden hitting .324 on the season, while Maddy Meech hit .360 and Sophie Phelan hit .243.

The Rebels finished the season with a .347 team batting average.