FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The Fairfield Little League Girls Softball 11-year-old all-star team clinched the Little League state championship on Sunday, July 20, with a 14-0 win over Waterford.
The game, played in Rocky Hill before a crowd of Fairfield and Waterford fans, was never in doubt from the beginning. The Fairfield girls went up 4-0 in the first inning and completed their championship run in the fourth inning after the mercy rule was invoked.
Similar to the other games in this state championship series, the Fairfield team relied on strong pitching, consistent hitting, smart base running and perfect fielding.
Waterford opened the game by drawing a walk from Fairfield’s pitcher, Kylee Holderied. But after two strikeouts and a ground ball to second baseman Olivia DeSabella, the threat ended, and Fairfield came to bat. Fairfield wasted no time getting on the board.
Kylee Holderied singled to start the game and stole second. Sarah Szuchman followed with a walk. Then, on a bunt from Molly Meehan, Waterford threw the ball away, allowing Holderied and Szuchman to score. Fairfield never looked back. Meehan scored on a hit by Serena Ta, and the rout was on.
Fairfield once again shut down Waterford in the second inning and put six more runs on the board in the bottom of the inning to go up 10-0. After giving up another four in the bottom of the third, Waterford made one last scoring attempt in the top of the fourth, but the bases-loaded threat was ended on one last strikeout, and the game was over.
Holderied pitched all three state tournament games for Fairfield, allowing only three hits while striking out 21. In the championship win over Waterford, she recorded eight strikeouts. But the real story of the series may have been the Fairfield defense that made only one error over the three-game span.
Catchers Bella Bookas and Ira Boci allowed only two stolen bases in the series. Sarah Szuchman (third base) and DeSabella were standouts, recording seven putouts each. On the offensive side, the Fairfield girls scored early and often in all three games. In the series, Meehan had four hits, Ta had three and Holderied reached base safely in 9 of 11 at-bats.
The victory marked the end of the all-star season for the Fairfield girls, as the state championship is the top tier at the 11-year-old level. Following the game the girls, coaches and families celebrated at Vinny’s in Fairfield and then watched the Brakettes play the Bluefish at Harbor Yard.
The girls on the Fairfield team include: Bella Bookas, Sammy Juthnas, Olivia DeSabella, Molly Meehan, Margaret Nolan, Kate Petroni, Caroline Belinsky, Serena Ta, Jasmine Castro, Sarah Szuchman, Bridget Keary, Ira Boci, Alenah Savongdy, and Kylee Holderied. The team manager is Dennis Nolan, and coaches are Mark Szuchman and Chris Meehan.