STAMFORD — How a team wins often is more rewarding than the victory and the bottom line it serves.
Such was the case Thursday as the Stamford High School softball team fought through a persistent rain to fashion a 21-3 triumph over Brien McMahon High School in five innings.
This school vacation week has been very profitable for the Black Knights. Stamford is now 6-2 overall, 3-2 in the FCIAC and has three straight wins so far this week. SHS will host NFA in a non-league clash on Saturday, weather permitting, to cap this week.
With the weather improving until Thursday, the Black Knights offense has been at peak efficiency. They defeated Shelton (20-14) last Tuesday and New Canaan (15-0) last Wednesday. With Thursday’s 21 runs that is 56 runs in the last three days.
“Hitting is contagious,” Stamford coach Melissa Giordano said with a smile Thursday.
All nine SHS starters contributed to Thursday’s 18-hit output.
Jordan Rossi and Brycelin Stalteri each homered in Stamford’s seven-run first inning. Stalteri finished the day with a single, double and three-run homer good for six RBIs and three runs scored in the No. 9 slot in the batting order.
Diana Magarian, in the No. 2 slot, reached base all five at-bats (three walks, HBP, single) and scored three runs. Kim Saunders, playing third base, added three hits, two RBIs and two runs scored for SHS. Abby Hogan had two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored.
The biggest contribution for Stamford came from senior lefthander Rebecca Schwartz.
Schwartz went the distance in her first start of the season to earn her first victory.
“It feels really good to get the win. Especially overcoming the bad weather,” Schwartz said. “The fact it’s my senior year makes this victory even more special. Our team is hitting so well. Giving me the early lead (7-2 after one inning, 16-2 after two innings) made me very comfortable on the mound. I was able to mix in all my pitches today.”
Schwartz’ performance gave Stamford’s other pitchers —Kim Saunders and Jordan Rossi — an opportunity to rest. The Black Knights have played seven contests in the past 12 days.
“Rebecca (Schwartz) has worked so hard for our softball program the last four years. She has never complained no matter what role we have asked her to fill,” Giordano said. “It’s nice that Rebecca was able to get the win and see the team support her so well.”
Getting the contest in should prove just as important in the big picture for Stamford. Starting with Saturday’s home clash with NFA, Stamford will play its final 12 regular season games in a span of 25 days. Finding open slots for rainouts and avoiding playing four contests in a week is problematic in the stretch run fight for FCIAC and Class LL playoff seeding (Stamford at No. 9).
“It was great to get this game in,” Giordano said. “And everyone got a chance to play.”
Indeed. Reserve catcher Sarah Wargo (two hits, one RBI) reached base and scored in all three at-bats. Ally Lyons ripped a three-run double in her lone at-bat to cap the four-run third inning. Kate Hogan walked, singled, scored a run and drove in one run.
The Black Knights did get wet throughout as dugouts with some type of roof still don’t exist at the SHS softball diamond.
But every victory has its price.