NORWALK, Conn. O'Neill's Pub pitcher Julie Brzezinski threw a rare slow-pitch softball shutout Thursday as her team captured the Norwalk Recreation and Parks women's league championship with a 6-0 victory over Preferred Printing.
O'Neill's won its second straight league title with the victory at Calf Pasture Beach. Brzezinski, who also got the win in last year's championship game , was at her best in the final games of the playoffs, as O'Neill's beat Partner's Café, 2-1, in the semifinals.
"I think the ball was a little heavy because it was so humid tonight,'' Brzezinski said. "Plus we played great defense."
O'Neill's did not commit an error behind Brzezinski, with shortstop Bree Morschauser and second baseman Stephanie Hill providing a dynamic keystone combination.
Preferred Printing, which finished 4-12 in the regular season, was a surprise finalist after knocking off regular-season champion Partner's, 8-5, in the losers' bracket final. O'Neill's, which went 13-3 during the regular season, took a 1-0 lead in the third on an RBI single by Kelly Daly to score Kelly Trimboli.
O'Neill's put the game away in the sixth. Brzezinski delivered an RBI single after Hill singled and took second on an error. Lisa Pia's RBI single made it 3-0, and Renee Escaravage ripped a three-run inside the park home run to ice it. Escaravage's sinking liner scooted past Preferred's center fielder, who attempted a shoestring catch. Escaravage motored around the bases and scored standing up.
"It's nice to have those extra runs to work with going into the last inning,'' Brzezinski said. "It gave us a little more cushion."
O'Neill's turned a 6-4-3 double play in the seventh for the first two outs, and Brzezinski got the final out on a comebacker.
O'Neill's was even missing some of its players. Several teachers on the team missed the game to attend back to school nights. O'Neill's team includes Kristen Rubush, Kelly Daly, Stephanie Hill, Julie Brzezinski, Jill Cimminello, Bree Morschauser, Lisa Pia, Renee Escaravage, Kelly Trimboli, Michelle Suda, Jeanine Wax, Kristen Walsh and Kim Nowak.
Contact Tom Renner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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