The Aces struck early and often Friday night to win the East Division championship of the Norwalk city softball tournament. They scored seven runs in the first inning, added six more over the next two and defeated East Coast Irrigation, 14-1, in the championship round at Calf Pasture Beach. East Coast advanced through the losers' bracket to earn a shot at The Aces in the championship game.
"It might have looked easy, but it wasn't,'' player-manager Tom Cossuto said. "This is one of the best groups of teams in Norwalk in a long time."
The Aces won their final two games of the city tournament by a combined 27-2 margin. Just as they did in Thursday's winners' bracket final, the Aces got contributions from throughout their lineup to defeat East Coast. Doug Vroman had four hits and three RBIs to pace Friday's victory. Joe Cossuto's RBI triple scored Dave Zatorsky to spark the seven-run first. Vroman, Nate Sumpter, Matt O'Brien and Anthony Daniello delivered RBIs in the inning, and Vin Jamroga had a two-run single. The Aces sent 12 batters to the plate.
"We've been playing well all season,'' Tom Cossuto said. "We came out and played all aspects of the game. When we do that we're tough to beat."
With the big lead, the Aces used pitching and defense to keep hot-hitting East Coast from gathering momentum. Pitcher Dave Liberatore allowed just six hits. He also benefitted from a flawless defense, including a grab he made on smash back through the box in the second inning. The Aces also turned a sweet double play with shortstop Joey Cossuto, second baseman Daniello and first baseman Tom Cossuto in the final inning.
East Coast Irrigation went 15-3 during the regular season and won the second half title in the Friday Night League, where they compete against the Aces. The team made a nice run through the losers' bracket, including a victory over Saugatuck Construction in the losers' bracket final to reach the championship round.
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