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Aces Open Defense of Norwalk Softball Title

NORWALK, Conn. – Tom Cossuto knows a lot of teams are out to knock off the Aces, defending champions in the East Division of the Norwalk Recreation and Parks softball tournament. He also knows the team’s undefeated run to the title last year provided invaluable experience.

“For the most part, our guys who were here last year are back with us, so we know what we have to do,’’ Cossuto said. “If we go out and play, I like our chances. I think it will be interesting.”

The double-elimination round of the East Division playoffs begin Friday night at Calf Pasture Beach. The East Division is considered the premier league in Norwalk, where the top teams from the recreation league play for the championship.

The Aces, who play in the Friday Night League, went 11-3 during the rain-plagued regular season. They open the playoffs against The Titans, who went 9-7 in the Tuesday League. Marinello’s Pizza, a long-time league power, went 15-1 in the Tuesday League and is another favorite in the city tournament.

“There are a lot of good teams,’’ Cossuto said. “Marinello’s is still the team you have to knock off. I think people would like to see us play them because we didn’t play them last year. I think this is one of the most wide open tournaments in a long time. There’s a lot of parity throughout the league.”

East Coast Irrigation, which went 14-2 in the Friday League and won the first-half championship, is one of the other league favorites. The Gators (12-4 in the Friday League), Smitty’s Softball (15-0 in the Monday League) and Saugatuck Construction (11-5 in the Tuesday League) could also make lengthy tournament stays. The Wildcats (8-8 during the regular season in the Friday League) had a disappointing regular season but did reach the American Softball Association national tournament and could also be a team to watch in the playoffs.

The Aces will be missing key players from last year’s squad. Nate Sumpter moved to England due to a job transfer, and Brandon Tegano could miss the rest of the season due to a high ankle sprain. “We’ve had some guys step up,’’ Cossuto said. “Our defense is the key. I think we’re a little faster this year with a little less power.”

The complete schedule of Friday games is on the Norwalk Recreation and Parks website . The Aces do have at least a little bit of history on their side. In two tournaments already this year, the champions in the women’s league , O’Neill’s Pub, and the co-ed league, The Swingers, successfully defended their titles.

Contact Tom Renner at trenner@mainstreetconnect.us.

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