GREENWICH — Ridgefield jumped out to a big lead, Greenwich stormed back and then Mother Nature halted Wednesday’s state softball tournament game between the Tigers and Cardinals.
The situation looked as bleak as Wednesday’s weather for the Cardinals, who faced a daunting eight-run deficit heading into the bottom of the third inning of the CIAC Class LL Tournament opening-round game.
Yet the Cardinals began stringing their hits together and produced a major rally, thanks to sophomore Olivia McClammy’s two home runs. When play was suspended with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning due to thunderstorms, Greenwich held a 12-10 lead.
The state tournament game is scheduled to be completed Thursday at Greenwich High School. Trailing 8-0, the Cardinals got on the scoreboard when McClammy hit a fastball from Tigers right-hander Alyssa DeStefano over the center field fence, making it 8-2. After senior pitcher Sophia Prieto singled, senior shortstop Emma Beinstein singled and Prieto scored when Beinstein got caught in a rundown, while trying to advance to second, bringing GHS to within 8-3.
DeStefano doubled and scored on an infield error in the top of the fourth inning, giving the visiting Tigers a 9-4 advantage. McClammy struck again in the bottom of the fourth, smashing a three-run home run, after Violet Mikalopas and Kelly Brogan each singled. Just like that, the Tigers’ lead was cut to 9-7.
A sacrifice fly by senior outfielder Charli Faugno scored the Cardinals’ eighth run and the ninth run came home when senior Julie Gambino reached base on an infield error.
The Cardinals took the lead in the fifth inning off Ridgefield’s second pitcher of the game, sophomore Skylar Arent — who powered her squad at the plate. Katie Walko drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk and Faugno sent a pair of runs home with a single.
Brogan, a senior who plays third base, went 3 for 4 with three runs scored, while McClammy hit two home runs and drove in five runs. Beinstein had two hits and three runs scored, while Faugno was 3 for 3 with a sacrifice fly for GHS.
Ridgefield seized a seemingly comfortable lead through the first few innings. Arent had a two-run single in the first inning and DeStefano knocked in a run with a double off Prieto. Sabrina Grizzafi and Julia Clavi each delivered RBI singles in the second inning and Arent drove in two more runs, putting the Tigers on top, 7-0. Arent, DeStefano, Clavi, Lauren Bayer and Sarina Sheth had two hits apiece for the Tigers.
The Cardinals-Tigers winner travels to West Haven for the Class LL Tournament Round of 16.