NORWALK, Conn. – The Aces are back on top of the Norwalk softball world.
The 2010 city champions roared back after falling into the losers bracket to sweep the Wildcats, 14-2 and 20-6, in the finals of the East Division in the city tournament. The Aces, who lost to the Wildcats, 25-24, in the winners bracket final, needed to beat the Wildcats twice to win the title. The Aces defeated East Coast Irrigation, 15-9, in the losers bracket final to earn a rematch against the Wildcats.
“The general consensus of the team is that this one is more special than in 2010, because we had to come out of the losers bracket,’’ said Tom Cossuto, the team’s player-manager. “It was special in 2010 because it was our first one. This one feels great because we had to play against guys who are our friends and we’ve had a great rivalry over the last few years.”
Against East Coast, Justin Valenti, Cossuto, Matt O’Brien and Joe Cossuto had three hits each. That set up the rematch with the Wildcats, and The Aces came out slugging. Doug Vroman and Anthony Papacoda blasted home runs and had three hits apiece. Dave Zatorsky and Anthony Daniello also had three hits each.
In the final game, Zatorsky and Valenti belted three-run homers, and had three more hits. Papacoda and Daniello had four hits, and Chris Tegano had three.
The Aces went 14-4 during the regular season in the Friday Night League. The Wildcats and East Coast Irrigation also play in the Friday Night League.
“It’s always in the back of your mind when you fall into the losers bracket that you’re facing an uphill climb,’’ Cossuto said. “I think it helped us that the teams that were left we were very familiar with. What it boils down to is if we could hit. Once we got going, it gave us a little bit of momentum.”
Both times The Aces won the city championship they did not have to defeat perennial power DJK Fuel. Last year, DJK Fuel (then playing under Marinello’s Pizzeria sponsorship) defeated The Aces for the city title. DJK was eliminated this year before playing The Aces.
“I don’t think that diminishes the accomplishment at all this year,’’ Cossuto said. “The teams that beat them, we had to beat. It’s unfortunate we didn’t get a chance to play them. But the Wildcats were a good team and they deserved to be playing for the championship.”