WESTPORT -- Cold, wet, slippery, misty and muddy. These are normally poor conditions for achieving success on the softball field. Try telling that to Stamford.
"We always say, `Forget the elements;' that was a big part of what happened today," Stamford's Shannon Stabile said after the Knights routed Staples 10-1 Thursday in a FCIAC game at Wakeman Park.
Tony Esposito's squad wasn't fazed by the circumstances that caused the game to start 20 minutes late. The Knights (10-2, 9-1 FCIAC) had all aspects of their game working, collecting 14 hits, including three home runs. Stabile had two of the round-trippers and finished with three hits and five runs batted in.
Meanwhile, the Knights didn't commit an error and freshman pitcher Sara Staley tossed five shutout innings of one-hit ball. Colleen Adams added three hits for Stamford, Staley and Maddie Santora each had two hits while Lauren O'Neill had a home run.
"Everyone contributed today," Esposito said. "Everyone has been on the same page and it showed."
Stamford won its seventh in a row while handing the Wreckers (6-6, 5-6) their fifth loss in seven games following a 4-1 start. Staples coach Sarah Holland wasn't about to blame the elements for her team's latest setback but something wasn't right with the Wreckers.
"I don't know why but we just didn't come to play today," Holland said. "It took us way too long to be aggressive with our at bats. But Stamford did what it needed to do. Give all the credit to them."
Stabile got the Knights started with a long two-run homer to left off Staples freshman starter and losing pitcher Gillian Birk. The early lead helped settle Staley.
"It felt good to get the early jump on them," said the left-handed Staley, who allowed only a fourth-inning double by Katherine Friend. "We really worked as a team today. If your teammates back you up it can help a pitcher a lot."
It also helps if the opponent is off their game, which the Wreckers were. Two outfield errors, a wild pitch and passed ball helped create two unearned Stamford runs in the third inning before the Knights broke it open in the fourth. With two outs, Santora singled, O'Neill walked and Staley singled in a run making it 5-0. Stabile then blasted her second homer of the game giving the Knights an 8-0 lead.
"I don't go up there thinking just power," Stabile said. "It's not about power; it's about executing on each pitch."
"Shannon has really been driving the ball," Esposito added. "No one works harder."
O'Neill's homer in the sixth made it 9-0 before the Wreckers scored off Santora, who relieved Staley in the bottom of the sixth. Lindsay Kiedaisch doubled for Staples and scored on a single by Maya Mandell.
Two Staples errors and a Santora single produced Stamford's final run in the seventh. Read Full Article
Friend had two hits to lead Staples.
Stamford 10, Staples 1
STAMFORD 202 401 1--10 14 0
STAPLES 000 001 0--1 4 3
Records: Stamford 10-2 (9-1 FCIAC), Staples 6-6 (5-6). Batteries: STAM--Sara Staley (W, 6-1), Maddie Santora (6), Christina Joaunou (7) and Colleen Adams; STAP--Gillian Birk (L), Katherine Burke (4), Birk (6) and Emma Moskovitz. Highlights: STAM--Shannon Stabile had three hits, including two home runs, and five RBI, Adams had three hits, Staley had two hits and allowed one hit while striking out four and walking one in five innings, Santora had two hits, Lauren O'Neill had a home run. STAP--Katherine Friend had two hits, Maya Mandell had an RBI single.