Ridgefield baseball, softball split with Staples

The Ridgefield High baseball and softball teams split their respective games against Staples on Monday afternoon.

The victory came at home, as the Ridgefield softball team held off Staples, 5-3. It was the Tigers' second win over the Wreckers in less than a week, following a 3-2 non-conference triumph last Tuesday in Westport.

Ridgefield (9-6 overall) scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning Monday and then added a single run in the fourth to open a 5-0 lead. Staples broke through with three runs in the top of the sixth but could not get closer.

The Tigers were ahead 3-0 before recording their first out of the game. Singles from Sabrina Grizzaffi and Kailey Westington preceded Kendall Rogoff's RBI double. Sydnie DeMarco singled home another run, and Mallory Shofi drew a bases-loaded walk that scored pinch runner Julia McSpedon.

Brandy Mauro then delivered an RBI groundout to extend Ridgefield's lead to 4-0.

The hosts tacked on their fifth and final run in the bottom of the fourth. Singles by Westington and Amanda Kelly flanked a walk to Rogoff, loading the bases with one out. DeMarco hit a ground ball to Staples shortstop Erica Fanning, who threw home to force out McSpedon (running for Westington). But on an 0-2 count, Shofi came through with a single to score pinch runner Claire Filaski.

Westington held the Wreckers scoreless through five innings before surrendering three runs (two unearned) in the top of the sixth. A single, a walk and an error loaded the bases for Gillan Birk, who doubled in two runs. Following a strikeout, another error allowed Staples to score a run that trimmed Ridgefield's lead to 5-3.

But Westington set the Wreckers down in order (groundout, groundout, strikeout) in the top of the seventh to secure the victory.

Westington finished with a three-hitter, walking three batters and striking out six.

Westington also excelled at the plate, collecting a team-high three hits for Ridgefield. Rogoff added two hits, while Lauren Bayer, Grizzaffi, Kelly, Shofi, and DeMarco had one hit apiece.

In Westport, the Ridgefield baseball team lost its third straight game, falling to Staples, 2-1, in 11 innings. All three of the losses have been by one run.

With one out in the bottom of the 11th, Harry Azadian doubled off Ridgefield reliever John Thrasher. Max Popken then hit the next pitch into centerfield for the game-winning single.

The Tigers (12-4 overall) squandered several chances to take the lead in extra innings. Colin Motill singled with one out in the top of the eighth and went to third when Staples committed an error on Tony Macchia's grounder. After Matt Stamatis struck out, Motill attempted to steal home but was thrown out at the plate.

A better opportunity arose in the top of the 11th. Macchia and Stamatis opened the inning with singles and advanced to third and and second, respectively, with one out. Macchia tried to score on Thrasher's grounder to third but was thrown out at home, and (following a walk to Matt Colin) Jake Artzt struck out with the bases loaded, ending the threat.

Ridgefield took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Artzt led off with a single and scored on pinch hitter Dan Ignatowich's one-out single.

But the Wreckers (10-7 overall) quickly tied the game with a run in the bottom of the inning off Ridgefield starter Alex Price. With two outs and the bases empty, Price walked a batter and then surrendered an RBI single to Chad Knight.

Other than that sequence, Price was sensational. The junior left-hander went eight innings, allowing one run on four hits while walking one and striking out 10 Wreckers.

Thrasher came on in the ninth and pitched two scoreless innings before Staples got the winning run with one out in the bottom of the 11th.

Ryan Fitton started for the Wreckers and gave up one run in four and one-third innings. Knight then pitched five and two-thirds scoreless innings before yielding to George Goldstein, who held Ridgefield scoreless in the top of the 11th and was credited with the victory.

Macchia (double, two singles) had three of Ridgefield's nine hits. Lucas Furneri (double), Quinn McDonald (double), Stamatis, Colin, Artzt, and Ignatowich added one hit apiece.