The Norwalk High School softball team knew it had a tall order in taking on defending state champion Westhill in the season opener. Unfortunately for the Bears, the Viking bats were in midseason form, and the game was well out of reach after two innings. Westhill won 15-3 in a five-inning, mercy rule-shortened contest.
The season got off to an unfavorable start when Westhill's Allie Souza led the off the game with a single and a stolen base. Norwalk ace Patti Sciglimpaglia struggled with her control, walking in two runs. Defensive miscues also hurt Norwalk, leading to three unearned runs. Twelve of the 15 runs were charged to Sciglimpaglia.
"The girls stayed in there the whole game, made their at-bats and maintained their focus and intensity," Norwalk head coach Lauren DeLong said. "We knew [Westhill] was going to be great and that they were going to be prepared. We told the girls to watch the way they play because that's what we want our girls to eventually build up to."
After giving up four runs in the first, Norwalk appeared to settle down when Sciglimpaglia got Westhill's leadoff hitter to ground out to open the second. Twelve more Viking batters would come to the plate, however, blowing the game open. Westhill plated nine runs in the second before a deep flyout to center finally ended the inning.
Kerry McCale had better success in relief of Sciglimpaglia, pitching the final two innings. McCale surrendered three hits, struck out one and did not allow a run.
Sciglimpaglia fared well at the plate, somewhat making up for her tough day on the mound. She went 2-for-3 with an RBI, a run scored, and a stolen base. Westhill starter Allison Macari otherwise held the Norwalk offense in check. Macari struck out seven and went all five innings for the Vikings.
Norwalk will try to bounce back Thursday when it hosts New Canaan at 4 p.m. Norwalk opens a tough 2011 schedule with three games in three days.
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