The Westport Major Girls Softball Team, sponsored by Five Guys, defeated Monroe, 13-9, to win the 10-team Fairfield County Fall Ball Tournament. Westport finished the season 13-2-1 and secured the title with consecutive comeback victories on the tournament's final day.
The 12-and-under team defeated the Westport 1 team and Stratford Lightning, and tied the Darien Dynamite. Pool play highlights included a long home run and a triple by Emily Lustbader, and sterling defensive plays by center fielder Kaylee Guajardo and second baseman Mimi Burriss.
In the semifinals, Westport pulled out a 3-2 win over Fairfield. The teams were scoreless through regulation. Fairfield punched two runs across in its half of the inning. Pitcher Lilly Weidhaas got the final two outs with a runner on third. Westport's offense came to life in the bottom of the inning. Weidhaas walked with the bases loaded to deliver Kat Vartuli with Westport's first run. Gabriella Perry's two-out, bases-loaded double scored Katherine Welsh-Lehman and Weidhaas with the winning runs to send Westport into the finals.
Unlike the semifinals, the championship was a slugfest. Westport trailed 4-0, 7-2 and 9-7. Westport battled back each time. Bunts by Gillian Birk and Cayley Stonehouse ignited the offense. Perry blasted a triple and the defense played well behind pitchers Lustbader, Weidhaas and Birk. Stonehouse, Lindsey Guajardo, Weidhaas and Welsh-Lehman made standout fielding plays.
After Lustbader pitched a scoreless fifth, Westport scored four runs in the top of the sixth to win. Weidhaas started the rally with a single and stole second. Stonehouse walked, and Perry delivered both with line drive to right field. Perry hit .571 for the tournament, caught 11 innings and delivered game-winning RBIs in each game. Perry and Lustbader scored by stealing home to add insurance runs. Lustbader closed it out on the mound as Westport pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts. Lustbader went 9-0-1 on the season and 3-0-1 for the tournament with a 1.00 ERA over 18 innings.
Team members include, bottom row, from left: Mimi Burris, Cam Stonehouse, Lillian Weidhaas, Cayle Stonehouse and Katherine Welsch-Lehmann. Middle row, from left: Gabriella Perry, Kat Vartuli, Kaylee Guajardo, Emily Lustbader, Gillian Birk and Lindsey Guajardo. Back row, A.J. Weidhaas, Peter Perry and Harold Birk. Players Ellie Schley and Charlotte Rossi were unable to attend the tournament.
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