Westhill softball wins again
Despite reaching double digits in runs seven times during their 11-game winning streak, Megan D'Alessandro and her teammates weren't about to rest on their laurels.
So on Tuesday -- one day after the red-hot Westhill softball squad notched its seventh straight victory by at least six runs while staying perfect in the league -- D'Alessandro took 400 swings after practice and after AAU basketball, later spent 20 extra minutes working on her hitting in the family garage.
The dedication and attention to detail paid off in a big way for D'Alessandro, who belted the go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth as Westhill went on to defeat Danbury 6-1 Wednesday afternoon in a battle of FCIAC and CIAC Class LL heavyweights.
"I was looking for a pitch that I could hit," said D'Alessandro, who jumped on the first offering from Hatters senior Mary Sigillo. "It was low and inside and I just ripped it. My swing needed some work, so it felt really good to come through for the team. We were kind of going through the motions up to that point, so maybe that was a spark for us."
Before the game was over, the Vikings (12-1) would get two-out home runs from D'Alessando, who is currently batting No. 8 in the lineup, as well as No. 9 hitter Brittney Batista, whose solo shot down the left field line capped a four-run sixth inning.
That was plenty for All-State senior pitcher Allison Macari, who gave up a third-inning run but finished with a two-hitter highlighted by seven strikeouts -- including a strikeout of the side in the fifth.
Macari was backed by an eight-hit attack and another strong defensive effort by the Vikings, who committed two errors but also made some fine plays in the field -- including a game-ending 4-6-3 double play started by Morgan Kurtz and turned by
Cassandra Kish -- who seems to have solidified the infield after moving over from third base.
For the Hatters (9-4), it was their fourth loss in five games after an 8-0 start.
Erica Carboni staked Danbury to the early lead with a one-out RBI triple, but would also be thrown out at third by catcher Elizabeth Joseph. The Hatters also made three errors on the day.
"When teams make mistakes we're capitalizing," Westhill coach Tom Pia said. "We weren't' sure if we'd get the game in, it was actually canceled for five minutes earlier in the day because there was water near the plate and we didn't want anyone getting hurt, but I'm glad we played. We had a few base running errors, but our pitching and defense were strong and we had some good at-bats."
Joseph and Emily Spoto each had two hits for Westhill, including back-to-back bloop doubles to right to jumpstart the four-run sixth. D'Alessandro also collected two hits in the victory, the Vikings' 12th in a row since a season-opening loss to Masuk.