ORANGE >> Coming into Saturday afternoon’s divisional softball game, the North Branford Little League team knew they would have their hands full with Westport.
But behind the stellar arm of Angelina Ramada, North Branford held on for the 2-1 victory at Stankye Field at the Orange Little League Complex.
With the win, North Branford advances to Monday’s title game at 7 p.m. They will face either Westport or Redding/Easton in the double elimination format tournament.
“Listen, we’ve seen them (Westport) before and we knew it was going to be a tough game,” North Branford head coach Pete Ramada said. “They’re a good team. They wouldn’t be here if they weren’t, but the kids did great.”
The right-handed Angelina Ramada gave up just one run, had no walks and struck out two in the victory, utilizing a slow, but dangerous change up that kept Westport at bay most of the afternoon.
“We haven’t done well with slower pitching and we’re used to fast pitching,” Westport head coach Mark McWhirter said. “And when it comes in, girls don’t wait it out, they just lung at, and that’s when these little ding ground balls and pop ups happens, and that’s kind of been our Achilles heel so we have to work on that.”
Westport will play Redding/Easton Sunday at 5 p.m. where the winner will advance to face North Branford and the loser is done.
North Branford jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first off an RBI single, but Westport was able to respond right back as they strung together three straight hits to load the bases, but couldn’t make anything happen, as North Branford’s defense was there to make every play.
“Huge; that was probably, even thought it was the first inning, could have been the turning point in the game,” Pete Ramada said.
North Branford added one more run in the third, while Westport made contact with the ball, but couldn’t get a consistent offense going.
In the bottom of the sixth, Westport made a rally as they got some offense going, scoring one run, and with two out, had a runner on second, but a hard-hit pop fly to the outfield was caught for the final out.
Westport will now face Redding/Easton on Sunday at 5 p.m. in an elimination game.
“They know they are better than this,” McWhirter said of his team. “(We) just have to come back from it tomorrow and forget about it and give the best we have.”