The Black Swan-sponsored Newtown Women’s Softball League team came from behind for a 13-12 walk-off victory over Cork & Barrel in semifinal round playoff action at Fairfield Hills on August 13. With the win, the second-seeded Black Swan earned a rematch with top-seeded Fireside in the championship game, set for 6 pm on Friday, August 16, at Treadwell Park; Fireside won last year’s pinnacle game.
Third-seeded Cork & Barrel led the entire game until the bottom of the seventh and final inning when Black Swan’s Melissa Shepard delivered a crisp line-drive single to center field to plate the tying and winning runs. The decisive hit capped an effort that saw Black Swan overcome deficits of 5-0, 10-5, and 12-7.
Down 12-11 in the seventh, Black Swan got its first two batters on base. Kayla Mesko blooped a single, and Rosie Jackman reached on an error. One out later, Shepard won the game.
“It feels great. We’ve been waiting to win one, so hopefully this is our year,” said Shepard, who had three hits, including a double and a triple.
Lisa Coates belted a three-run home run; Jackman had a double, single, and scored two runs; Mesko had three hits and scored twice; and Laura Comerford contributed two hits and two runs scored.
“It was a nail-biter game — that’s for sure. We’re glad to advance to the championship game,” Comerford said.
Denise Croden had a triple and two singles, Jen Pirone had three singles, Desiree and Karen Alexander pitched well and doubled for Cork & Barrel. Desiree Scott also had a double. Pirone, Croden, and Linda Watson all made nice plays in the field.
“A little more pressure but it’s all for fun and it’s all for the team — win as a team, lose as a team, play as a team,” Croden said.
In the first round of the playoffs, the Black Swan defeated No. 7 Duhamel 16-6 at Treadwell Park on August 12. Melissa Fracker had three hits, including a grand slam, and three runs scored. Jackman delivered two hits and scored a pair of runs, Shepard homered and scored twice, Katie Schmidt and Julia Truchsess played well in the field, and Cara Colacurcio tossed three innings and allowed only two runs.
Cork & Barrel doubled up No. 6 Petzercise 14-7 in the first round, at Dickinson Park on August 12. Sue Dandrea, Laura Terry, Karen Alexander played well defensively, and Lisa Riebe and Croden made outstanding catches in the outfield. The Corks also had strong hitting from Pirone, Chris Jannott, and Dandrea, all with doubles, and Croden and Alexander with three-baggers.
Fireside had a first-round bye then shot past No. 4 My Place in the other semifinal contest (see related story).