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Despite Protest, Staples Still Falls to Westhill

The Westhill High School softball team beat Staples — again. Three weeks ago, Staples head coach Mark Giordano protested his team's 5-3 loss to undefeated Westhill after his pitcher Sam Saccomano accidentally dropped the ball before starting her windup.

Saccomano was called for an illegal pitch, and Westhill's Ali Souza was allowed to score. Upon review, it was determined the umpire was incorrect in calling it an illegal pitch as Saccomano had not started her windup.

So the girls squared off once again in Stamford on Saturday morning, picking up where the game was protested — in the bottom of the first with Souza on third and Westhill trailing, 1-0. The only difference was that Westhill won by an even-greater margin. The Vikings took advantage of three sixth inning errors by the Wreckers and stayed undefeated with an 8-1 victory.

"It was a very close game for five innings. I thought the girls did a great job today. I think we showed we belong on the same field as Westhill," Giordano said. "But you can't take on a team that's undefeated and give them an open door. That's what we did in the sixth."

Both starting pitchers performed at near-perfect levels for the first five innings. Saccomano worked her way out of a bases loaded and nobody out jam in the bottom of the fourth. Westhill ace Allison Macari was even more dominant, scattering three hits and striking out four, allowing only one run. That would be the run she allowed three weeks ago.

Staples, which was once among the top teams in the league, has lost four games in a row and is seeded ninth in the FCIAC playoff race with two games remaining. If the season ended today, Staples would not make the conference playoffs.

"This coming week is going to show the difference between a team that does or doesn't belong in the FCIAC tournament," Giordano said. "If we bounce back, we belong there. Hopefully we can bounce back to where we were earlier in the season."

Staples faces a must-win game at home against Fairfield Ludlowe on Wednesday. First pitch for that game is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Follow Eric Gendron on Twitter for the latest MSC sports coverage.

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