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Rockets, Warriors Crowned Softball Co-Champs

The Anytime Appliance/Law Office of Mattthew Brovender Rockets and the Intelisearch/Giglio Electric Warriors were crowned co-champions at Norwalk High School Field on Tuesday, as they went 10 innings before darkness fell with the championship on the line. The final score was 4-4 in Division III of the Norwalk Athletic Association softball league.

It was a fitting end to a game that neither team would give up. Ryan Lajoie of the Rockets and Amy Hurd of the Warriors were locked in a pitching duel, which saw 21 and 16 strikeouts, respectively, over 10 innings of play.

The Warriors struck first in the top of the first as Hurd reached base on a walk and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Allison Hall. Mallory Rochefort reached base on a bunt, scoring Hurd. Rochefort moved to third on a bunt by Katelyn Spielman, who found safety at first. Kacey Hogan stepped up to the plate, and Rochefort headed for home on a throw back to the pitcher from the catcher and slid safely home. Spielman came around to score on a passed ball, making it 3-0 Warriors.

The Rockets would not lie down. Nicole Bonanni led off with a single, and Leslie Garcia followed with one of her own. After a strikeout, Ryan Lajoie stepped up to the plate and with a 2-2 count, laced a changeup to deep left field, plating Bonanni and Garcia and arriving safely at third. Lajoie scored on a single by Amy Alfson.

The Warriors went down quietly in the second. The Rockets came up in the bottom of the inning to tally their fourth run and go ahead, 4-3. Lauren Roach led off and was hit by a pitch. Deanna Vivirito reached base on a single. A single by Victoria Harriott plated Roach just ahead of the Warriors throw.

Hurd and Lajoie then took control until the fifth inning. Mallory Rochefort of the Warriors started things off with the first of two hits. Katelyn Spielman put down a sacrifice bunt to move Rochefort into scoring position. Kasey Hogan then laced a single to plate Rochefort to tie the score, 4-4.

The Rockets threatened in the sixth by loading the bases on hits by Garcia and Mia Grenier and a walk to Lajoie with no outs. Hurd got out of the jam with a strikeout, infield fly and ground out.

The Warriors could muster only two more hits, one in the eighth by Rochefort and one in the ninth by Hogan. The Rockets bats fell silent through the 10th. The decision was made to declare the teams co-champs because scheduling issues were troublesome. And after a game like this, no one deserved to lose.

Photo: Front row, left to right: Jasleen Aroyo, Ashley Pascarelli, Allison Hall, Nicole Bonanni, Chelsey Martylewski, Leah Rudolf, Chelsey Mayerick

Middle row:  Isabelle Greco, Kasey Hogan, Amy Hurd, Leslie Garcia, Nicole Chandler, Meghan LaRosa, Ryan Lajoie, Deanna Vivirito, Jenna Hall, Amy Alfson, Natalie Barzyk, Rachel Kurtzman

Back row:  Megan Giglio, Katelyn Spielman, Leah Romano, Mallory Rochefort, Victoria Harriott, Isabelle Genovese, Lauren Roach

Not Pictured:  Rockets coaches:  Mike Bonanni and Jim Roach,  Warriors coaches:  Wally Hurd and Rob Rochefort. Rockets player: Mia Grenier

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