FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairifield’s run in the Little League East Regional softball tournament came to an end Thursday at the hand of New York pitcher Jenny Hickey. The hurler from New Hyde Park has mowed down other opponents as well during the team’s run in Bristol.
Hickey tossed a four-hit shutout as New York won, 6-0, to reach the championship game Friday against New Jersey. Hickey is 3-0 for the tournament and has not allowed an earned run in 17 innings. She struck out seven and walked two in Thursday's win.
“She’s a true pitcher, not a thrower,’’ Fairfield manager Jarry Rasmussen said. “Give her all the credit. We hit the ball well, but we hit it right at them.”
New York scored three runs in the first, helped by two Fairfield two errors. Fairfield had two runners on with none out in the bottom of the inning, but Hickey got out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts. That was the last real Fairfield threat until the sixth, when it loaded the bases. Hickey ended the game with a strikeout.
“”We made a few mistakes, and we had some first inning jitters,’’ Rasmussen said. “But that’s nothing new for us. You can look back at some of our chances, but 6-0 is 6-0, no matter how you look at it. It wasn’t one call or one play.”
Fairfield pitcher Maddie Russell pitched well enough for Fairfield, allowing six hits. But she issued five walks and threw four wild pitches, most of which hurt.
It was not the best game for Fairfield, in large part due to Hickey’s command. But Rasmussen couldn’t hide his pride talking about a team that went 12-0 in District 1, Section 1 and state competition to earn a second straight trip to the regional. Fairfield was the best team in New England for the second straight year and finished 4-2 in the 10-team tournament.
“I told them I was proud of them,’’ Rasmussen said. “They conducted themselves well up here, as ballplayers and young ladies. Sometimes we forget that they are just 12 and 13 years old. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”