WEST HAVEN >> Madison Letizia’s squeeze play scored Shelby Nolan with the winning run as Notre Dame-Fairfield rallied for three goals in the bottom of the seventh to stun Stafford, 7-6, Thursday and reach the Class S state softball championship.
Notre Dame (20-5) advances its fourth state championship game. But it’s the first since 1984 and the first under coach Jeff Bevino, who came over from Foran this year.
The Lancers will face Holy Cross — a 2-1, 8-inning winner over East Granby (marred by controversy) — in the final, Saturday, 1 p.m. at DeLuca Field in Stratford.
Stafford led the entire game and was ahead 5-1 heading into the fifth inning when Notre Dame started to chip away.
The Lancers scored two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth to pull within 5-4. Stafford tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seventh on an RBI double by Sarah Provencher.
Trailing 6-4, Lucy Grant started the rally with a single and scored on an error, induced by teammate MacKenzie Dobbins, and a wild pitch.
Stafford committed another error, which score Dobbins and allowed Nolan to advance all the way to third base. That set up Letizia’s winning squeeze bunt.
Grace Seddon, Jordan Sierra, Raleigh Gilman had RBIs for Stafford.
Dobbins had two-run single in the fifth inning for Notre Dame.
Notre Dame-Fairfield 7, Stafford 6
Stafford 302 000 1—6 9 4
Notre Dame-Fairfield 100 021 3—7 6 2
WP: Madison Letizia (NDFF); LP: Hannah Davis (S)
Hannah Davis and Grace Seddon; NDF—Madison Letizia and Michaela Luk.
Team Records: Stafford 15-7; ND-Fairfield 20-5.