The Staples High School softball team came flying out with a 4-0 start on the season heading into Friday's game against Fairfield Warde. The Wreckers lost, 3-1, but it hardly diminishes the optimism they have as they prepare to battle for a Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference playoff spot.
"You don't know who's going to be there in the end,'' Staples coach Mark Giordano said. "We have a quality team with a few holes. This is the first challenge for us. Monday will be another one against Westhill."
Sam Saccomano pitched well in a losing cause for Staples. She allowed eight hits, walked three and struck out three. Warde (3-3) executed well to score its runs. Heather VanDerheyden hit a one-out RBI single in the first, and Alyssa Borowy hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth. Warde added a run in the sixth on an RBI single by Stacey Dileo.
Staples had its chances. Alex Massiello's RBI single in the fifth scored the Wreckers' only run. Staples left eight runners on base, including seven in scoring positions. "We hit the ball hard, but we were a little impatient,'' Giordano said. "Their pitcher (VanDerheyden) is a good pitcher. We had some good swings. We just didn't get the big hit."
Shannon O'Connor had a single and a double for the Wreckers, and Massiello had two singles. The Wreckers also turned in a nifty double play to end a Warde rally in the fifth. With runners on second and third and one out, Warde's Kaitlyn McCartney hit a smash toward short. Massiello gunned down Andrea DeBernardis at home for the second out. When Warde's Stacey Dileo took a wide turn around third, O'Connor's throw sailed into left field. Left fielder Alexa Sorice, alertly backing up the play, nailed Dileo at home to end the inning.
Staples plays Westhill, Bassick, St. Joseph and Darien in an eight-day stretch beginning Monday. Three of those teams are league contenders. That stretch could also show how the Wreckers stack up against the league's elite.
How do you think Staples' softball team will wind up this season? Start the discussion below!
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.