Price, Westington pitch state tourney shutouts
Behind shutouts from Alex Price and Kailey Westington, the Ridgefield High baseball and softball teams won their state tournament openers Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Ridgefield girls lacrosse team lost its state opener by one goal to a conference rival, and a Ridgefield doubles team advanced to the boys tennis state semifinals.
Baseball: In a game that went nine innings, Ridgefield's lone hit came at an opportune time.
Tony Macchia's single with the bases loaded scored Colin Motill with the only run as the seventh-seeded Tigers got past 26th-seed Simsbury, 1-0, in the first round of the Class LL state tournament.
Ridgefield (18-6) will now host 10th-seed Naugatuck in a second-round contest tomorrow (3:30) at Ciuccoli Field.
Held hitless through eight innings by Simsbury's Brandon White, the Tigers loaded the bases without a hit in the bottom of the ninth. Motill reached on a passed ball on a third strike and Matt Colin followed with a grounder to White, whose throwing error allowed Motill to go to third base and Colin to second.
After Pete Columbia walked, Macchia hit an infield single to bring home Motill with the winning run.
Ridgefield received a superlative start from Price. The junior left-hander pitched all nine innings and allowed just one hit while walking one batter and striking out 13. Price is now 8-0 with a 1.41 ERA this season.
Simsbury's best chance came in the top of the seventh, when Peter Phillips doubled with one out. But Price struck out the next batter, and third baseman Matt Stamatis made a nice play on a grounder to end the threat.
White was the hard-luck loser for the Trojans, giving up just one hit while walking four and striking out six.
Softball: In New Milford, Westington pitched a five-hit shutout as Ridgefield defeated the 15th-seeded Green Wave, 6-0, in the first round of the Class LL state tournament. Westington walked one New Milford batter and struck out 10.
Ridgefield, the 18th seed, now travels to Cheshire tomorrow for a second-round game (4:15) against the second-seeded Rams, who are the reigning Class LL champions. Cheshire routed 31st-seed Hamden, 16-0, in another first-round game Tuesday.
The Tigers scored single runs in the first, second, and fourth innings to build a 3-0 lead over New Milford. Ridgefield then tacked on three more runs in the top of the seventh.
That was a plush cushion for Westington, who allowed two singles in the bottom of the seventh but got all three outs on strikeouts.
Catcher Kendall Rogoff had two hits and two RBIs for the Tigers. Sabrina Grizzaffi added three hits and scored two runs, while Westington and Lauren Bayer each had a hit and drove in a run.
Sydnie DeMarco, Brandy Mauro and Ryan Fujitani had one hit apiece for Ridgefield, and Amanda Kelly knocked in a run.
Girls lacrosse: For the second time this season, Staples edged Ridgefield by one goal.
This time, however, the stakes were higher.
After registering a 12-11 victory over Ridgefield early in the regular season, 10th-seed Staples topped the seventh-seeded Tigers, 13-12, in a Class L first-round game Tuesday, sending the hosts to an early exit.
Ridgefield, which was coming off a loss in the FCIAC championship game to Darien, ended the best season in program history with a 14-6 record.
Katie Hoban and Caitlin Slaminko each scored four goals for the Tigers in the loss to Staples. Kaitlyn McMullan, Lucie Picard, Caroline Curnal, and Julia Realander added one goal apiece.
Maeve Tobin had three assists, while Fair Smith, Caeleigh Tannian, McMullan, and Realander all contributed one assist.
Lexi Held finished with eight saves in goal for Ridgefield, which trailed 6-4 at halftime.
Boys tennis: With a pair of wins Tuesday, a Ridgefield doubles team earned itself a spot in the Class LL state semifinals.
Seeded third, Andrew Mercorella and Brian Song defeated Staples' Eric Greenberg and Sam Lampert, 6-3, 6-2, in a third-round match at Yale University in New Haven.
Mercorella and Song followed that win with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over fifth-seeds Crosby Fox and Rishabh Tandon of Westhill in the quarterfinals.
Mercorella and Song return to Yale tomorrow for a semifinal match against second-seeds George James and Nick Marchenko of Trumbull. The winner will then play in the finals.
Two other Ridgefield doubles teams bowed out in the third round Tuesday. Tanner Daubenspeck and Tadd Long, the 12th seeds, fell to Norwalk's sixth-seeded team of brothers Taishi Hosokawa and Yuuki Hosokawa by scores of 6-4, 6-0.
Ridgefield's other doubles team of Drew Warren and Jordan Gilbert dropped a 6-1, 6-0 decision to James and Marchenko, the second seeds from Trumbull.
Girls tennis: Tuesday's Class L quarterfinal match between 18th-seed Ridgefield and 23rd-seed Westhill was postponed until tomorrow.
The teams will play at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning at the RHS courts, with the winner boarding a bus and traveling to Glastonbury to face the third-seeded Tomahawks in the semifinals at 3 p.m.