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Fairfield 14U Girls Drop Tight Contest to Norwalk

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Fairfield and Norwalk have two of the premier 14-and-under softball teams in the state. In Monday’s Fairfield County Fastpitch Softball League matchup at Norwalk High School, Norwalk scored two runs in the fifth and rode the 15-strikeout, two-hit pitching of Ryan LaJoie to a 3-1 victory over the Fairfield Light 97s .

“She’s a good pitcher,’’ said Fairfield coach Lou Dellipoali, who was filling in for manager Rob Caione. “We faced her in a tournament earlier in the year and beat her 1-0, but she was on her game tonight. She got faster as the game went on.”

After Norwalk nicked Fairfield starter Kelly Caione for a run in the first, Fairfield tied it in the fourth. After a one-out walk to Tori Rodriguez, Caione reached safely on a gorgeous bunt. Nikki Dellipoali drove home Rodriguez with a hard-hit grounder to second.

Norwalk pieced together the winning rally in the fifth off Kendall Washington, who took over in the third for an ailing Caione. After a leadoff walk, Norwalk sacrificed the runner to second. After a pop out, Norwalk scored the go-ahead run on an RBI single by Amy Alfson. Another run scored on a hard-hit grounder by Amy Hurd.

Fairfield had other opportunities but failed to score. It stranded a runner on third in the sixth, and also had a one-out walk in the fifth. Mostly, however, LaJoie overpowered Fairfield and struck out eight of the final nine batters. She struck out the side in order to close it out.

Three Fairfield players missed the game to practice for the 12-year-old All-Star team as it prepares for a strong run in District 2 tournament play. The Light is 3-2 in league play and figures to be a strong tournament contender in late July. Many of the girls were members of last year’s 12-year-old All-Star team, which won the District 2 Little League title and made a strong run in sectional competition. The same girls will play for the Fairfield 13-year-old All-Stars in district competition.

“We put together good at-bats generally,’’ Dellipoali said. “But 15 strikeouts is self-explanatory. Generally we put the ball in play. We ran into a hot pitcher tonight.”

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