STAMFORD — The home opener was so important to the eight seniors on the Stamford High School softball team Saturday that the Black Knights won the contest against Danbury High twice.
After seeing opportunity slip away in the seventh, Stamford senior Diana Magarian roped her fifth hit of the afternoon with one out in the 10th to lift the Black Knights to an 8-7 triumph.
“This field is our house. We had waited so long for this home opener,” Magarian said. “We didn’t want Danbury to take this contest away. As seniors, we’ve learned to shake off mistakes and move on.”
Stamford (2-0) saw Danbury forge at tie at 7 in the top of the seventh, but responded as Brycelin Stalteri lifted what appeared to be a one-out sacrifice fly to right field in the bottom half, touching off a celebration.
However, Danbury (3-1) appealed at third base and the umpire ruled the Stamford runner left the base too early, wiping the run off the board and sending the game into extra innings.
The constant wind blowing in all day made it a homerless afternoon.
Danbury pitcher Elizabeth Croxford surrendered 17 hits but stranded seven runners in the opening five innings to keep the Hatters close at 7-6.
@danburysball ‘s Trinity Santiago rips a double into the right field corner vs Stamford in the second inning to score 2 runs for Danbury giving them a 4-1 lead. Danbury eventually lost in the 10th 8-7. @ChipSalvestrini @GameTimeCT @DaveRuden @RyanLacey11 #ctsb pic.twitter.com/fNxF7Xy4Bx
— Geoff (@geostang351) April 6, 2019
In the seventh against Stamford sophomore pitcher Kim Saunders (10 strikeouts, four walks), Danbury’s Emily Bogues laced a leadoff single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Azarian “YaYa” Bowden (on-base five times) followed with an RBI single to center.
“In the past, we usually compete early with Stamford and fall short in the late innings,” Danbury coach Shawn O’Brien said. “To carry this game to the end against an elite team like Stamford is a good building block for us going forward this season.”
The top of the batting order did the most damage for Stamford.
Leadoff hitter senior Dana Serricchio collected three hits, one walk and one run scored. No. 2 hitter senior Diana Magarian was 5-for-6 with four RBIs and two runs scored.
In the 10th, Morgan Yacavone had a leadoff single and Brycelin Stalteri reached on a bunt with none out. Serricchio also bunted but Yacavone was out at third on a great throw by catcher Trinadey Santiago.
That gave Magarian the chance to be the hero. The lefty hitter roped a single to center as Stalteri motored home to kick off the final Black Knights’ celebration of the day.
“I’ve had issues of overthinking at bat in the past. Now I just relax at the plate and it is working,” Magarian said. “The eight seniors have been playing softball together since age 8. We know our senior year will go by fast so we’re embracing it and pulling for each other. Our entire team wants this season to be special.”
Stamford coach Melissa Giordano likes the sense of urgency she sees in the Black Knights.
“To come back and win in extra innings is huge. Diana (Magarian) goes up to the plate ready to swing and she’s getting good results from good at-bats,” Giordano said. “This team has high expectations and a lot of good leaders in the senior class. They know what is expected. And they want us all to succeed.”