Westies open season with victory
Five runs in sixth lead the way
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (April 6, 2011) –
 The West Haven softball team knew expectations were high heading into the 2011 season. Ranked No. 11 in the New Haven Register Top 10 poll, the Westies would face stiff challenges in the early part of the season.
The Westies would get thrown right into the fire in the season opener as they met No. 5 Lyman Hall and ace pitcher Lauren Zambrano. Scoring five times in the sixth inning, the Westies opened the season with a 5-0 victory over the Trojans at Biondi Field.
“This is a big win,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said. “We have been hitting like that all spring. We hit the ball pretty well. We did not start the game the way we wanted but she (Zambrano) is tough. The kids had some butterflies but we came through with some big hits.”
Held to just a pair of Joanna Fekieta hits through five innings of play, the Westies rallied against Zambrano in the sixth inning of a scoreless game. Zambrano issued her only free pass of the game when she walked Candace Lawrence to start the sixth inning.
Shannon Connor followed with a single to right and each moved into scoring position when freshman Sierra Santana laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt. Zambrano got Camdyn Morgillo on a pop out to Christina Andrulat at short for the second out, but the Lyman Hall ace could not get Fekieta.
Fekieta, who had two lasers for hits in her first two plate appearances, was dealt an outside pitch. The Westie senior went with the pitch and delivered a single to right, scoring Lawrence and Connor for a 2-0 lead.
“This is a great way to start the season, beating a team like this,” Fekieta said after finishing with three hits and two runs batted in. “This team has hurt us in the past. This is a great feeling to start like this.”
Katie Hoyt, who had struck out in her first two plate appearances against Zambrano, then laced a single to left. Cindy Johnson, who also struck out in her first two plate appearances, made amends when she drilled a double to right, scoring Fekieta and Hoyt for a 4-0 lead.
When Sam Johnson followed with a single to center scoring Cindy Johnson, West Haven had a commanding 5-0 lead.
“I thought Jo (Fekieta) did a great job,” Biondi said “She had to know she was not going to get anything good to hit. I told her she would not see anything good that whole at bat.
“She went with that pitch and did what she was supposed to do with it. She has been right on everything. She did a great job today.”
Until the bottom of the sixth inning, Zambrano and Morgillo were locked in a battle of the pitchers. Zambrano had allowed just two hits, both by Fekieta, and struck out eight, while Morgillo had also allowed only two hits.
Morgillo, who threw 50 pitches in the game, 32 for strikes, was particularly effective early, retiring the first 11 batters of the game before Andrulat laced a two-out single in the fourth and Tori Lillard followed with a walk. Morgillo got out of her only jam of the game when Hoyt nailed Andrulat at third after the ball skipped away from the Westie catcher.
“I was just focused on not giving up big hits,” Morgillo said after finishing with a complete game, three-hitter, striking out six and walking just one. “My defense played very well behind me. This is awesome. After we got the nerves out, we all settled down.”
Morgillo allowed a one-out single to Justina George in the fifth, but got out of the inning by striking out Alena Buonocore and getting Noelle Thurston on a ground out. Lillard ripped a one-out double in the seventh, but Morgillo escaped by striking out Jessica Brown and ended the game by getting George to ground to Cindy Johnson at first.
“Our offense could not get going,” Lyman Hall coach Alexis Nacca said. “We could not get one girl out. That number five (Fekieta) was tough today. She stepped up. We need to do a better job hitting.”
Zambrano finished with a seven-hitter, striking out eight and walking just one.

Morgillo helps Westies get off to quick start
Allows just four hits as Westies improve to 2-0
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 8, 2011) -
 Following a thrilling victory over Lyman Hall in the season opener, the West Haven softball team hoped to avoid a letdown against Branford. Behind the four-hit pitching of Camdyn Morgillo, the Westies improved to 2-0 with a 4-0 victory over the Hornets.
Through two games, the Westies and Morgillo have not allowed a run. Behind Morgillo’s pitching, a solid defense and timely hitting have contributed to the perfect start.
“Camdyn has thrown the ball well,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said. “She does not give up much. We will be in most games she pitches.”
West Haven took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. After Joanna Fekieta lined out, Katie Hoyt reached on an infield single to third. Cindy Johnson advanced Hoyt to third with a grounder to short before Sam Johnson knocked in Hoyt with a single to center.
The Westies increased the lead to 2-0 in the third inning. Freshman Sierra Santana had the big hit as her long drive to center went for a home run.
“We hit the ball well,” Biondi said. “We only had six hits but we had some screamers right at people. Throughout the lineup, anyone can hit. They are swinging the bats and are aggressive which I like. They are not taking a lot of pitches.”
Staked to a 2-0 lead, Morgillo did the rest. The sophomore pitcher tossed a complete game, allowing just four hits. Morgillo struck out 10 and walked just two Branford batters.
“You can see the confidence in the kids,” Biondi said. “They are a lot looser. They are into it a lot. Our defense has been strong.”
The Westies gave Morgillo a pair of insurance runs in the fifth. Candace Lawrence led off with an infield single, went to second on a passed ball and third on a wild pitch.
With one out, Shannon Connor walked and stole second to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Santana popped out for the second out, before Morgillo helped her own cause with a double to left to score Lawrence and Connor for a 4-0 lead.
“It was a close game at 2-0,” Biondi said. “We probably could have scored four or five more runs the way we were hitting. But, that’s the way it goes. It was a good win for us. It’s a nice start.”
Morgillo pitched to the minimum 12 batters in the final four innings. Her only blemish came in the sixth with a walk but Fekieta started a double play to end any hopes of a Branford threat. 































Camdyn Morgillo helps West Haven to a 2-0 start with a four-hitter against Branford. Photo courtesy of Bill O'Brien. 

Amity blasts West Haven
Spartans hand West Haven first loss of season
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (April 9, 2011) -
 The West Haven softball team started the season in impressive fashion with convincing victories over Lyman Hall and Branford.  The big test would come Saturday afternoon against perennial power Amity.
That test would end seemingly before it began. Scoring six runs in the first inning, the Spartans made quick work of the Westies with a 16-0 victory at Piurek Field in a game stopped after five innings due to the Mercy Rule.
“Probably only one other time we have been mercied since I can remember,” West Haven Frank Biondi said. “It is a lousy feeling.”
West Haven’s Camdyn Morgillo had not allowed a run in the first two victories for West Haven. After pitching Friday afternoon against Branford, Morgillo was given the day off in favor of senior Joanna Fekieta.
Fekieta did not fare as well. Amity scored six times in the first inning, once in the second and seven more in the third to take a commanding 14-0 lead. 
Fekieta opened the game by walking C.J. Semones before striking out Alyssa Mirmina. Jess Hoffer followed with a run-scoring double and went to third on the throw.
After Dana Blydenberg followed with a fielder’s choice to score Hoffer, Jacqui Ferraiolo followed with a double and Heather Ferrante walked. A run-scoring single by pitcher Corina Zdrowski and a triple by Heather Watt had West Haven in an early hole.
The Westies had an opportunity to come back in the bottom of the inning against Zdrowski but failed to cut into the lead. Shannon Connor led off with a walk but was forced at second on Sierra Santana’s grounder to short.
Morgillo reached on Watt’s error at short and both Santana and Morgillo moved into scoring position on Fekieta’s hard grounder to short. Zdrowski got out of the inning by striking out Katie Hoyt, ending West Haven’s early threat.
Fekieta looked as if she would have an easy second inning after recording the first two outs. That was not the case as Blydenberg homered to deep center for a 7-0 lead.
“We were behind early but I think the kids fought it pretty good,” Biondi said. “They did not give up. I told the kids after the game to just forget about it. Everything went right for them and nothing went right for us. We had a couple of timely errors.”
The Spartans put the game away with seven runs in the third. Ferrante led off with a double and scored on Zdrowski’s double for an 8-0 Amity lead.
Zdrowski’s double ended Fekieta’s day. Santana came on to relieve the Westie senior and fared no better.
An error on a bunt allowed Zdrowski to score before Santana walked Semones to load the bases. Santana struck out Mirmina but Hoffer’s double to right scored a pair  for an 11-0 lead.
After Blydenberg struck out, Ferraiolo put the finishing touches on the Westies. Ferraiolo’s laser down the line in left rang off the foul pole for a three-run homer and a 14-0 lead.
“Sierra (Santana) struggled a little but she held it pretty good,” Biondi said. “We made an error behind her. We did not play very well on the day. Out pitching was horrid, our offense sputtered and the defense did not play well. That's not going to win many ball games.”
West Haven again had its chances to score. Connor hit a one-out double to left in the third but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.
That would prove costly as Santana singled and Morgillo walked before Fekieta ended the inning with a line drive to center.
The Westies again had an opportunity to score in the fourth. Hoyt led off with a double and moved to third on Sam Johnson’s one-out single. Neither scored as Amber Bonewicz grounded to third and Candace Lawrence struck out. 
“The kids never quit,” Biondi said. “They all had the support until the end. We swung the bats. They gave it their all.”


















Sierra Santana and the Westies suffered their first defeat of the year against Amity. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske

Cheshire hands Westies second straight loss
Rams thump Westies 10-0
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (April 11, 2011) -
 After starting the season with a pair of shutout victories, the tide has turned for the West Haven softball team. Coming off a thumping at the hands of Amity, West Haven hoped to get back on the winning track Monday afternoon against Cheshire.
Instead, the Westies again trailed before they came to bat and never caught up in a 10-0 loss to the Rams at Biondi Field. The Westies have been outscored 26-0 in their last two games and have not scored since the fifth inning of their victory against Branford.
“I am concerned about the way we have played the last two games,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said. “You can not give up crooked numbers and not score. We are impatient at the plate. We are getting runners on base then we are doing too much first pitch swinging. We are not making a lot of errors but the ones we are making are hurting us.”
In their first loss of the season against Amity, the Westies trailed by six runs before they came to bat. West Haven looked to avoid a similar start against Cheshire.
Camdyn Morgillo, who had not allowed a run in her first two games of the season, knew the first inning would be an important one. The sophomore pitcher got off to a slow start then did not get the defensive help behind her.
Caroline Kushner led off the game with a double for the Rams and moved to third on BryAnna McIntosh’s single. Morgillo walked Anna Marcucilli to load the bases before striking out Ali Giannone for the first out.
Cheshire pitcher Nicole D’Amato followed with a grounder to second. West Haven’s Joanna Fekieta threw the ball away and all three runs scored for a 3-0 Cheshire lead. Morgillo got the next two outs without any further damage.
“You can see our confidence wavering,” Biondi said after his team fell to 2-2. “We are giving up double numbers and scoring zero. We have not scored since the fifth inning of the Branford game. It’ll happen.”
West Haven had its chances to get on the scoreboard but could not take advantage. With Sierra Santana on second with two outs in the first, Fekieta’s liner to center was caught by Chelsea Mongillo.
With Candace Lawrence on base with a walk in the third, Shannon Connor grounded out and Santana hit a fly ball to center. Cheshire then pulled away in the fourth with two more runs.
Kushner’s double to right scored pinch-runner Courtney Goggin and McIntosh followed with a single to score Kushner for a 5-0 lead.
West Haven’s best chance to score came in the fourth inning. Morgillo led off with a double and Fekieta followed with a single. Morgillo did not advance as she waited to make sure the ball fell in, but each runner moved up on Katie Hoyt’s sacrifice bunt.
D’Amato escaped without any damage. Cindy Johnson lined out to second and Sam Johnson struck out to end the threat.
In the fifth inning, Amber Bonewicz led off with a single and Santana singled two outs later. Again the Westies failed to score as Morgillo grounded out to third to end the frame.
Cheshire put the game away in the sixth inning with five runs on five hits. Lauren Fountain had a run-scoring double and Mongillo and Marcucilli each added run-scoring singles for the Rams.
McIntosh led the Rams with four hits and a run batted in. Fountain reached base all four times up with a walk, two singles and a double.
D’Amato went the distance for the Rams, allowing five hits, striking out five and walking just one. Fekieta led West Haven with two hits.

Westies suffer third straight loss
North Haven leaves WH on field
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 14, 2011) -
 After starting the season with a pair of victories, the West Haven softball team has hit a speed bump. That speed bump has grown to a losing streak of three games after the Westies fell to North Haven 3-2 Thursday afternoon in North Haven.
West Haven held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 but could not hang on as the Indians scored once in the bottom of the seventh inning to leave the Westies on the field. With the loss, West Haven fell to 2-3 on the season.
“We did not do anything,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said. “We played pretty good defense. We were just lackadaisical out there. We are not hitting at all. We have to stop the bleeding.”
With the game knotted at two to start the seventh, North Haven’s Nicole Onofrio led off with a single to center off West Haven pitcher Camdyn Morgillo on a 3-2 pitch. Amanda Rizzo followed with a sacrifice but was safe at first on Cindy Johnson’s error.
After West Haven got Onofrio on a sacrifice attempt at third, Kristyn Cullen became the hero for North Haven. Cullen’s single to center on another 3-2 pitch delivered Rizzo with the winning run.
“I thought she (Morgillo) pitched great,” Biondi said. “She struck out eight. She threw the ball well.”
West Haven did not have many chances in the game against North Haven pitcher Arianna Pustari. The Westies went down in order in four of the seven innings and only had hits in two innings.
West Haven picked up three of its five hits in the fourth inning, taking a 1-0 lead. Morgillo started the rally with a triple to right and scored on Katie Hoyt’s two-out single. Cindy Johnson followed with a single but Sam Johnson grounded back to Pustari to end the threat.
North Haven tied the game in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Brianne Melillo walked, stole second and scored on Monica Pustari’s single to center.
The Westies took a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning. Sierra Santana led off with a double, and after Morgillo was retired on a fly out, Joanna Fekieta delivered Santana with a single.
Fekieta stole second but would go no further. Arianna Pustari escaped any further trouble when she struck out Hoyt and Cindy Johnson to end the frame.
“We are just not hitting,” Biondi said.
As was the case after taking the lead in the fourth, West Haven watched as the Indians knotted the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Nicole Dunlop opened the inning with a single and Melillo hit a one-out shot down the line in left.
The ball got by West Haven’s Amber Bonewicz as Melillo had a run-scoring triple. Morgillo got the next two outs on strikeouts, but the damage had been done.
“We only had a couple of rallies,” Biondi said. “We went down in order in four innings. Even with the two wins, you could see it coming.
“The problem is no one is stepping up and taking over. It seems like we are going through the motions.”
Morgillo allowed nine hits in the loss while Arianna Pustari picked up the win, allowing just five hits. Rizzo led North Haven with three hits.

Westies shut out Foran
Morgillo’s five-hitter snaps three-game skid
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue          
WEST HAVEN (April 15, 2011) –
 It has been a rough week for the West Haven softball team. Three straight losses by a difference of 27 runs had the Westies going from confident to questionable.
Following a gut-wrenching loss against North Haven on Thursday, the team had a meeting. Stressing to get back to basics and what brought them a 2-0 start, the Westies took that to the field Friday afternoon against Foran-Milford.
Behind a five-hit pitching performance from Camdyn Morgillo, three hits from Amber Bonewicz and a complete team effort, the Westies got back to form with a 4-0 victory over the Lions at Biondi Field. The victory allowed West Haven to improve to 3-3 on the year.
“We played the way we are supposed to play,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said. “We did a great job. We swung the bats. Everyone contributed.”
West Haven came out swinging and threatened right from the start. Morgillo doubled with two outs in the first and Joanna Fekieta followed with a walk. Foran’s Taylor Harkness escaped with no damage as Katie Hoyt lined out to third for the final out of the inning.
After Morgillo got out of a jam in the top of the second, the Westies threatened again in the bottom of the inning. Cindy Johnson singled, moved to second on Sam Johnson’s sacrifice and third on a single by Bonewicz.
Harkness again escaped by getting Candace Lawrence on a liner to first and Shannon Connor on a grounder to second.
Morgillo had to work again in the third inning as the Lions used a pair of two-out infield hits by Sage Esposito and Marissa Bruno and a walk to Rachel Booth to load the bases. Morgillo escaped when Rebekah DeRosa lined to center and Sam Johnson made a nice running catch to end the threat.
West Haven finally got on the board in the third inning, taking the lead for good. Freshman Sierra Santana opened the inning with a single and Morgillo followed with a single off the glove of Esposito at second. A wild pitch put both runners in scoring position for Fekieta.
Harkness pitched around Fekieta, walking the Westie senior to load the bases. Hoyt put the Westies on the board with a sacrifice fly to left before hard hit balls by Cindy Johnson and Sam Johnson were turned into ground outs to end the inning.
“This was big for us,” Fekieta said. “It is a huge win because we have become a rivalry and we needed this win to get back on track. I think it was in our heads too much. We were stressing about it. We had a meeting and we talked about some things.
“I think this was a must-win today. I think it was big for us to get the early lead. We all feel we can do better.”
West Haven increased the lead to 2-0 in the fourth inning. Bonewicz led off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a sacrifice by Lawrence. Connor, who has been in a slump to start the season, lined a shot off the leg of Harkness, scoring Bonewicz for a 2-0 lead.
“Shannon (Connor) is starting to come out of it,” Biondi said. “She had some good swings today.”
The Westies sealed the game with two more runs in the fifth. Hoyt doubled with one out and Cindy Johnson followed with a single. With both in scoring position, Sam Johnson delivered a single for a 4-0 lead.
“This was a big win for us,” Cindy Johnson said after finishing with two hits and a run scored. “We need to get back to the way we were playing to start the season.
“We had a meeting and just talked about having fun. I think, once we got that first run, we were all confident in each other again. This is a huge step for us. Three and three sounds better than having a losing record.”
Morgillo struck out five and walked just two in the victory.
“What can you say about Camdyn?,” Biondi said. “I did not want to pitch her two days in a row but we needed this game. She was great out there.
“We talked about helping each other out and having the proper attitude. We were down on ourselves because we were not playing well. We got some big hits. Sammy Johnson and Cindy Johnson both had big hits for us today.”
















                              
Cindy Johnson played solid defense and had two hits and a run scored in West Haven's victory over Foran. Photo courtesy of Bill O'Brien.  

Westies pound Hamden
18-hit attack keys 15-0 win
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (April 20, 2011) –
 Following a loss to North Haven, the West Haven softball team had a discussion to get the team back on the right track. Two games later, both victories, and the Westies are playing as if they are on a mission.
The Westies had on their hitting shoes Wednesday afternoon at Biondi Field, pounding 18 hits and defeating Hamden 15-0 in a game stopped in the sixth inning due to the Mercy Rule.
“We got the hitting today,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said after his team improved to 4-3. “Some of the pitches we hit hard today we were popping up before. We did not pop up any balls at all. We were hitting some good shots today.”
The number four through seven hitters of Joanna Fekieta, Katie Hoyt, Cindy Johnson and Sam Johnson combined to go 10-for-14 in the contest, scoring 10 runs and driving in four. Leadoff hitter Shannon Connor broke out of her early slump with two hits, including her first career home run. Connor also drove in three runs.
“Joanna (Fekieta) has been hitting the ball well all year,” Biondi said. “Katie Hoyt is hitting well and I have been saying all year, Cindy (Johnson) has hit the ball the best but has not found holes. She has been hitting in tough luck. Her sister (Sam Johnson) has been getting clutch hits.”
Camdyn Morgillo took advantage of West Haven’s run support as she tossed her fourth shutout of the year. Morgillo needed only 87 pitches, allowing just three hits and striking out ten.
“She (Morgillo) has been unreal,” Biondi said. “She can put the ball where she wants it. She did a great job out there today. This was a game we had to have. It was a big game.”
West Haven managed only singles by Cindy Johnson and Connor over the first three innings against Hamden pitcher Clare Ryan before erupting for six runs in the fourth inning.
Fekieta started the rally with a one-out single to center and stole second. Hoyt walked and Cindy Johnson followed with a single to load the bases. Sam Johnson picked up yet another clutch hit when her single scored both Fekieta and Hoyt for a 2-0 lead.
Cindy Johnson was out at third on the play but Sam Johnson moved to second. Amber Bonewicz followed with a single to score Sam Johnson, Candace Lawrence singled to score Bonewicz and Connor laced a line drive over the fence in left center for a 6-0 lead.
“I feel like our confidence is up,” Connor said. “We are playing as a team. My confidence is back up. I feel like I hit the ball a lot better today.”
West Haven iced the game with four runs in the fifth inning. Fekieta again started the rally when she doubled off Kelly O’Connor, who relieved Ryan.
Hoyt singled to put runners on the corners and Cindy Johnson grounded to third to score Fekieta. Sam Johnson followed with a single, Carly Lindgren walked to load the bases and Connor walked with two outs to score Hoyt. Sierra Santana capped the scoring in the inning when she singled to score both Sam Johnson and Lindgren for a 10-0 lead.
“Once we get hitting, I feel it gets contagious,” Cindy Johnson said.
The Westies ended the game with five more runs in the sixth inning. Fekieta started the third straight rally as her single followed by singles from Hoyt and Cindy Johnson loaded the bases.
Sam Johnson walked to force in Fekieta, Lindgren walked to score Hoyt and Lauren Caciopoli singled to score Cindy Johnson and Sam Johnson. Connor’s single loaded the bases again and Santana ended the contest when her walk forced in Lindgren.
“I am starting to find the spots out there,” Cindy Johnson said. “It took its toll on my confidence early but I kept on hitting.
“I think we got far last year. We are a close team. We hang out together. We know how to pick each other up. I think that is very important. This team can go far.”
Fekieta and Cindy Johnson led the Westies with three hits apiece. Fekieta, Hoyt and Sam Johnson each scored three times in the victory.















 

Shannon Connor connects for her first career home run against Hamden. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

















Teammates mob Shannon Connor (8) after Connor homered against Hamden. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.  

Torre shuts down West Haven
Westies fall 4-1
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 21, 2011) –
 A day after scoring 15 runs and pounding 18 hits in a thumping of Hamden, the West Haven softball team saw just how frustrating the game can be. Traveling to play the Indians of Guilford, the Westies were held to just three hits by Leah Torre in a 4-1 loss.
Despite getting just three hits, West Haven (4-4) had plenty of opportunities to score but could not capitalize. The Westies stranded ten runners in the game, including six in the first four innings.
“We left ten runners on base,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said. “We did not get the hits when we needed them. All we had to do was put the ball in play.
“I am disappointed in the way we played. I know they have a good pitcher. It was a close game and she struck out eleven and we left ten on base.”
The Indians scored all the runs they would need in the third inning, taking a 3-0 lead. Two walks and a fielder’s choice on a bunt loaded the bases before a ground out gave Guilford a 1-0 lead. A pop singe scored another run before a hit batter and a walk gave Guilford a 3-0 lead.
“We had people on and did not score,” Biondi said. “The wind was blowing right in the pitcher’s face. The wind was really bad. Camdyn’s (Morgillo) control was off. It was tough to control everything.”
West Haven rebounded to score a run in the fourth to cut the deficit to 3-1. Cindy Johnson walked to lead off the inning and stole second.
Torre looked as if she would get out of the inning but Candace Lawrence reached on an error with two outs to score Johnson and cut the deficit to 3-1.
“We could not do any damage after that,” Biondi said. “We did not get the hits when we needed them. Sam Johnson has been a clutch hitter for us all year. She has knocked in seven runs batting seventh, which leads the team.”
The Westies struggled to score from the start, leaving a pair of runners on in each of the first two innings. Sierra Santana hit a one-out double in the first and Torre hit Morgillo, but Joanna Fekieta and Katie Hoyt grounded out to end the inning.
In the second, Cindy Johnson was hit by a pitch and advanced on Sam Johnson’s sacrifice. Cindy Johnson would remain in scoring position as Torre struck out Amber Bonewicz, walked Lawrence and ended the frame by striking out Shannon Connor.
The Westies had another runner in scoring position in the third but again could not cash in. Santana walked and stole second but Morgillo struck out, Fekieta grounded out and Hoyt struck out to end the frame.
Trailing 4-1, Fekieta tried to start a rally in the fifth with a two-out single but Hoyt popped out to end the inning. Sam Johnson reached on a one-out error in the sixth but got no further as Carly Lindgren struck out and Lawrence grounded out.
West Haven’s final rally came in the seventh. After Connor struck out and Santana grounded out, Morgillo singled and Fekieta walked.
As was the case all day, that rally stalled as well. Torre struck out Hoyt to end the game as West Haven had a runner on base in every inning but produced just one run.
“When we play well, I say to myself we have a chance to go all the way. That’s how good I think we can be.”

Westies defeat SHA
Errors help Westies pick up fifth win of season
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (April 26, 2011) –
 With the second half of the season on the horizon, it was imperative the West Haven softball team came up with a big performance against Sacred Heart Academy. Trailing by two runs in the fifth inning, the Westies were running out of outs.
Taking advantage of the bottom of the order and sending nine batters to the plate in the fifth inning, West Haven scored five times and held on to defeat the Pacers 5-3 at Biondi Field Tuesday afternoon. With the win, West Haven improved to 5-4 on the year.
“This was a big win for us,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said. “It was a good win even though I did not like the way we hit.”
After squandering scoring opportunities in the second and fourth innings and watching Sacred Heart take a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth, West Haven responded in the bottom of the inning.
Sam Johnson and Candace Lawrence led off the inning with walks against Sacred Heart pitcher Molly Flowers. Attempting to sacrifice for the top of the order, Carly Lindgren’s bunt was perfectly placed for a single to load the bases.
After Shannon Connor struck out, Sierra Santana grounded to Flowers. Flowers attempted to get the force at home but her throw sailed high allowing Johnson to cut the deficit in half.
Flowers’ error would be the first of three in the inning for the Pacers. Camdyn Morgillo followed with a grounder to second and reached when the ball was booted, allowing Lawrence to score the tying run.
Joanna Fekieta popped to third for the second out, leaving catcher Katie Hoyt to come up with the big hit. Hoyt, who had doubled earlier in the game, lined a single to left to score Lindgren. When Jenna DeMartino bobbled the ball, Santana scored for a 4-2 lead.
“She (Hoyt) had the big hit,” Biondi said. “She has been hitting the ball. Katie has had big hits for us all year.”
The Westies took advantage of Sacred Heart’s final mistake of the inning. When Flowers uncorked a wild pitch, Morgillo scored for a 5-2 lead.
“This was a big win for us,” Biondi said. “It was big in the league. We took advantage of their errors.”
Sacred Heart immediately cut into the deficit in the sixth as Lindsey Thompson led off with a double and scored on Carly Pietrosimone’s single. Morgillo escaped by getting the next three outs, including the final out on a beautiful running catch in center by Sam Johnson of a DeMartino fly ball.
Sacred Heart had one last opportunity in the seventh after Morgillo registered the first two outs easily. Katie Winkle walked and Angelika Stamos followed with a single off the glove of Connor. With runners on second and third, Morgillo got Thompson on a pop out to third to end the game.
“She (Morgillo) ran into some trouble but she was able to get out of it,” Biondi said. “She is a good pitcher. She can put the ball where she wants. We needed that.”
West Haven had its chances early in the game to take the lead but could not get the big hit. Hoyt laced a long double to left in the second with one out, but was left stranded as Cindy Johnson grounded to first and Sam Johnson struck out.
In the fourth inning, Santana walked and Morgillo singled to put runners on the corners with no outs. Morgillo stole second to put a pair of runners in scoring position but Flowers was up to the task.
The Sacred Heart pitcher struck out Fekieta and Hoyt looking and got Cindy Johnson swinging to end the frame.

Westies win at Mercy
Morgillo, Fekieta, Hoyt star in victory
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 27, 2011) -
 West Haven softball coach Frank Biondi felt this week would be a big one for his team. Hovering around the .500 mark after a solid start to the season, this week would prove to be a big test for the Westies.
Two games into the week, the Westies are passing with flying colors. Coming off a come-from-behind victory over Sacred Heart Academy Tuesday afternoon, the Westies traveled to Middletown to play long-time nemesis Mercy.
Close to a half dozen years had passed since the Westies won in Middletown but that all came to an end Wednesday afternoon. Behind the four-hit pitching of Camdyn Morgillo and the timely hitting of Joanna Fekieta and Katie Hoyt, the Westies defeated Mercy 2-1.
With the victory, West Haven (6-4 overall) took over sole possession of first place in the Southern Connecticut Conference Quinnipiac Division with a 3-0 record.
“This was a big game for us,” Biondi said. “It was a big win. We take over sole possession of first place. They have to beat us now at our place to take over first.”
After stranding Shannon Connor, who had walked and stolen second in the first, and Sam Johnson in the second, the Westies finally broke through in the third inning.
Connor started the rally with a one-out single and was followed by Sierra Santana’s single. When Morgillo’s sacrifice attempt went for a perfect bunt single, the bases were loaded.
Fekieta popped to first for the second out, but Hoyt’s hard single to short scored Connor for a 1-0 lead.
“Katie has been getting big hits for us,” Biondi said of Hoyt. “She came through again.”
With a 1-0 lead, West Haven turned to Morgillo, who retired the first 10 batters of the game before giving up a pair of singles in the fourth. Morgillo toughened as she struck out hard-hitting Tyler Keegan and got a grounder to end the frame.
West Haven capitalized in the fifth, taking a 2-0 lead. Connor again started the rally with a bunt single and moved to second on Santana’s sacrifice. Morgillo followed with a single to put runners on the corners.  
After Morgillo stole second, Fekieta came through. Fekieta lofted an 0-2 pitch to left for a sacrifice fly, scoring Connor for a 2-0 lead.
“I am happy with the last two games,” Biondi said. “Shannon Connor swung the bat well today. We are starting to come together a little bit.”
West Haven had a chance to extend the lead in the sixth as Cindy Johnson singled and moved to second on Sam Johnson’s sacrifice. Cindy Johnson would remain stranded at second as Candace Lawrence and Carly Lindgren both grounded out to end the inning.
The missed opportunity nearly cost the Westies as Mercy scored an unearned run in the sixth on Kelly Murphy’s run-scoring single. Morgillo escaped by again striking out Keegan and getting another ground ball to end the frame.
“She (Morgillo) had another great effort,” Biondi said. “She is unbelievable. She is 6-3 this year. If you don’t count the unearned run today, that’s five shutouts in the six games she has won. That’s unreal.
“She was terrific today. They only hit one ball on the nose all day.”
Morgillo struck out seven and walked one in the victory. Morgillo also led the offense along with Santana and Connor as each had a pair of hits. Connor scored twice in the victory.   

Westies use eight innings to defeat Branford
Connor delivers big hit in seventh as Biondi wins 400th
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (May 2, 2011) –
 West Haven senior shortstop Shannon Connor is not accustomed to slow starts. An All-State selection each of the past two years, Connor has struggled to hit her stride over the first half of the season.
With the stroke starting to come around and even her outs becoming hard ones, it was just a matter of time before Connor got going. That time came Monday evening against Branford.
Connor’s one-out double to left in the seventh inning scored Erica Lindsay with the tying run and the Westies pushed across the game-winner in the eighth as West Haven defeated Branford 4-3 at Biondi Field. With the victory, West Haven improved to 7-4 as it started a week which also includes road games against Lyman Hall, Sacred Heart and Hamden.
“I am seeing the ball very well now,” Connor said after also reaching with a walk. “I am a little more relaxed up there. I felt confident. I just want to do anything to contribute to the team.”
Trailing 3-2 heading into the seventh, the Westies rallied to tie the game. After Candace Lawrence, who was bidding for her third hit of the game, had her liner snared by centerfielder Kelsey Ciarleglio for the first out, Lauren Caciopoli singled to short.
A wild pitch sent Lindsay, who was running for Caciopoli, to second before Connor’s laser down the line in left scored Lindsay. Connor moved to third on Sierra Santana’s grounder but could not score as Camdyn Morgillo grounded out to end the frame.
“We left a lot of runners on third base,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said after winning his 400th career game. “It is tough to keep coming back like that.
“That was a big hit for Shannon. She has been swinging the bat a lot better. That was big for her.”
The Westies rallied to win the game in the bottom of the eighth as Katie Hoyt hit a one-out single to left and alertly moved to third when Cindy Johnson’s sacrifice attempt was thrown away by Jenna Limone to put runners on the corners.
After Cindy Johnson stole second with her sister Sam Johnson at the plate to put a pair of runners in scoring position, Sam Johnson grounded to second, scoring Hoyt just ahead of the throw by Emily Sears for the winning run.
“This is a big win for us,” Hoyt said “It is big to start this week with a win. This is a cross-over game and we knew we needed this one.
“This game says a lot about us. Camdyn did a great job all night and we all stayed focused.”
The game did not start off well for the Westies as Branford took a 3-0 lead before West Haven batted. Sears started the first inning with a one-out triple to right and Jessica Bainer followed with a walk.
Both scored when Melissa Kreider ripped a shot over Lawrence in left for a two-run double. A perfect relay from Sam Johnson in center to Cindy Johnson to Hoyt at the plate cut down Kreider on Jessica Teulings’ single but a bloop single by Chandlar Fowler gave Branford a 3-0 lead.
“It was not a good start to the game,” Biondi said. “It was like we were not loose.”
The Westies threatened in the third as Lawrence doubled to right to start the frame and moved to third on Caciopoli’s grounder. Lawrence went no further as Branford pitcher Megan Ferraro struck out Connor and got Santana to ground out.
The Westies finally got on the board in the fourth. Morgillo led off with a single to center, moved to third on Fekieta’s double and scored on Cindy Johnson’s grounder to second. Fekieta was left stranded at third when Sam Johnson grounded to third to end the inning.
“This was an important game for us as far as states and it is a cross-over game,” Fekieta said. “No matter what, we pick each other up. We get back up. We never quit tonight.”
West Haven inched closer in the fifth. Lawrence led off with a single to right, moved to second on Caciopoli’s grounder to Ferraro and scored on a pair of wild pitches.
After struggling in the first inning, Morgillo retired the side in order in five of the final seven innings. Morgillo finished with a six-hitter, striking out 11 and walking three.
Ferraro allowed just seven hits in the loss for Branford, striking out five and walking three. Lawrence led the Westies with two hits. 
















       
Members of the West Haven softball team surround coach Frank Biondi in recognition of his 400th victory in a game against Branford. Photo courtesy WHHS. 

Lyman Hall blanks Westies
Zambrano tosses two-hitter
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 3, 2011) -
 West Haven coach Frank Biondi knew his team was facing a tough week. With a thrilling win against Branford in the books, the Westies had to travel to play Lyman Hall, Sacred Heart and Hamden in succession.
Biondi hoped for a quick start to the road stretch when the Westies faced Lyman Hall in Wallingford Tuesday afternoon. The start was not one Biondi envisioned as the Trojans avenged a loss in the season opener to the Westies with a 5-0 victory.
Lyman Hall pitcher Lauren Zambrano was the story of the game as she tossed a gem, allowing just two hits. Zambrano struck out 14 Westies, needing only seven defensive plays behind her.
“We did not hit at all,” Biondi said after his team fell to 7-5. “We struck out fourteen times. That means only seven kids hit the ball where they had to make plays. We missed the ball by two feet.”
While Zambrano was mowing down the Westies, freshman pitcher Sierra Santana was also pitching well. Santana allowed just three earned runs and walked five in the loss.   
“We did not play a bad game,” Biondi said. “Sierra pitched very well. She pitched well enough to win if we scored any runs.
“I did not want Camdyn (Morgillo) to pitch four games in a week. The kid (Santana) did a nice job. It was unfortunate we could not score any runs. She did a fine job.”
Lyman Hall scored all the runs it needed in the sixth inning. The Trojans batted around and pushed five runs across in the inning.
Noelle Thurston started the rally with a double to left and moved to third on Lindsay DelGrego’s bunt single. After DelGrego stole second and Alena Buonocore popped to short, a wild pitch allowed Thurston to score for a 1-0 lead.
With two outs, Nicole Rosa blooped a single to center to score DelGrego, Zambrano singled and Tory Lillard walked to load the bases. A walk to Christina Andrulat forced in Rosa before Justina George’s bloop single to left scored two more.
The five runs were more than enough for Zambrano. After allowing a two-out single to Katie Hoyt in the seventh, Zambrano finished the gem by getting Cindy Johnson to pop up to second for the final out.
“We did not hit her (Zambrano) at all,” Biondi said. “She did not even throw her high stuff. She was low in the strike zone. We could not hit her at all. You can't win if you don't hit.”
Zambrano was on her game from the start, retiring the first 13 batters she faced. Hoyt broke the string in the fifth with a one-out walk and moved to second on Cindy Johnson’s bunt single.
After a double steal put two runners in scoring position, Hoyt was cut down on Sam Johnson”s safety squeeze. Again with two runners in scoring position following Sam Johnson’s steal, the Westies could not capitalize as Candace Lawrence struck out to end the threat.  

Connor leads Westies past Hamden
Westies use 21-hit attack in victory
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 6, 2011) -
 West Haven coach Frank Biondi has been waiting all year for a game like Friday afternoon. Knowing his team has plenty of offensive ability, Biondi had to smile after West Haven defeated Hamden 11-1 in Hamden.
The Westies banged out 21 hits, scored in every inning but the sixth and qualified for the state tournament with the victory. Eight of the nine starters had at least one hit in the game.
“It was great,” Biondi said. “We got a ton of hits. The key was Shannon Connor. When she gets on, we score. She did what a leadoff hitter does. She was on base five times and scored four runs. Without her getting on base, we struggle to score.”
Shannon Connor had her best game of the season, picking up four hits in four official times to the plate. Connor also walked and drove in a run to go along with two triples, two singles and four runs scored.
Sierra Santana, Joanna Fekieta, Sam Johnson and Candace Lawrence each had three hits, while Camdyn Morgillo added a pair of hits. Santana scored twice and drove in three runs, Morgillo knocked in two and Fekieta was perfect on the day as she also reached on a walk and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
“I liked the way we hit the ball,” Biondi said after his team improved to 8-5 on the season.  
West Haven took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Connor tripled and scored on Santana’s single. The Westies increased the lead to 3-0 in the second inning as Cindy Johnson, Sam Johnson and Lawrence all singled to start the frame and Connor and Santana each delivered runs with singles.
Katie Hoyt knocked in Lawrence in the third inning with a single before the Westies took an 8-0 lead with four runs in the fourth inning. Connor and Santana walked to start the frame and Morgillo followed with a single to score Connor.
Fekieta’s sacrifice fly to center scored Santana before run-scoring singles by Cindy Johnson and Lawrence put West Haven in front 8-0.
“It was a good win for us,” Biondi said. “It allowed us to get in the states. I do not like that you can get in with eight wins but you take what you get. I think you should have to win half your games.”
Morgillo allowed just one run in the game in the fourth inning as West Haven was already comfortably in front.
“She (Morgillo) did a good job,” Biondi said of Morgillo. “They had some hits where they just stuck their bats out.”
West Haven increased the lead to 9-1 in the fifth as Connor singled and scored on Fekieta’s double. A run-scoring triple in the seventh by Santana scored Connor who had tripled and Morgillo’s single delivered Santana for West Haven’s final run of the game. 

Fekieta leads Westies past Guilford
Senior delivers game-winning single in ninth
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (May 9, 2011) – 
When Joanna Fekieta stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning Monday evening against Guilford, she had to have a sense of calm. Just two innings prior, Fekieta’s single looked to be the winning hit but Shannon Connor was tagged out at the plate.
This time, Fekieta made sure there would be no such play at the plate. The senior’s second hit of the game past a diving Tory Brinkley at short scored Connor from second with the winning run as the Westies defeated Guilford 1-0 in nine innings at Biondi Field on Breast Cancer Awareness Night.  
“The last couple of games I just cleared my head,” Fekieta said. “We have all been playing for each other. It (seventh inning) went through my mind but I was hitting the ball the whole game.
“This was a big win for us. Making the (SCC) tournament is our biggest goal right now. We are playing with confidence right now.”
The decisive ninth inning started with a walk by Carly Lindgren off Guilford pitcher Leah Torre. Connor attempted to sacrifice but her bunt went for a single.
With two runners on, Sierra Santana’s grounder to third was turned into a force out and Camdyn Morgillo lined to second. Fekieta, who had hit the ball hard her previous three plate appearances, ripped a shot past Brinkley into center field to score Connor with the winning run.
“This was a big win for us,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said after his team improved to 9-5. “Joanna hit the ball hard all night. She has her swing back. She has been ripping the ball.
“We have played well our last three games. We have to keep winning. We have a tough week. We want to come in first (Quinnipiac Division) and we want to keep winning for the states. We have a tough road ahead of us.”
Through six innings, it did not look as if the Westies would pull out the victory. Torre held West Haven hitless through six innings with West Haven’s only base runners coming on walks to Katie Hoyt in the second and Cindy Johnson in the sixth.
West Haven finally broke through in the seventh as Connor led off with a single to short and moved to second on Morgillo’s infield single. Fekieta followed with a laser for a single to center.
Guilford’s Jordyn Panicali came up throwing and her throw, which was up the line at third, found catcher Brittney Maio just before Connor came through. Maio tagged out Connor for the second out of the inning and Torre struck out Hoyt to end the threat.
“I had to send her (Connor),” Biondi said. “She (Panicali) had to make the throw and she did.”
While West Haven struggled to mount an attack, Morgillo was keeping her team in the game. The sophomore allowed just six hits, while striking out 13 and walking two.
Guilford threatened on several occasions but Morgillo held the Indians scoreless. Torre led off with a double in the second but was left stranded and the Indians had runners on the corners in the third but Morgillo got Brinkley to pop to Connor at short to end the inning.
“This game was really important for us,” Morgillo said. “It was a Breast Cancer Awareness game and a lot of the girls know someone who has breast cancer. We really wanted to win this game. This sets us up for the rest of the week.”
Morgillo was also helped by her defense. Connor made several outstanding plays at short and Sammy Johnson made a nice running catch on a fly ball to center by Gabie Lanouette with a runner on second in the fifth.
The best play of the game may have come from Cindy Johnson at first in the fourth inning. Cindy Johnson’s diving stop of a hard hit ground ball by Maio was turned into an out and denied the Indians any threat.
“There is some pressure,” Morgillo said. “If I did not have the defense I had behind me, we would not have won the game. The defense was great tonight.”
Connor and Fekieta led the West Haven offense with two hits apiece. Cindy Johnson walked twice and Fekieta drove in the only run of the game.

Westies clinch Quinnipiac crown
Fekieta and Hoyt lead the way to SCC tournament
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 10, 2011) -
 Frank Biondi and his West Haven softball team knew this was going to be a tough week. With the Quinnipiac Division title on the line, the Westies had two opportunities to seal the title.
Needing just one victory over either Sacred Heart Academy or Mercy, the Westies did not waste any time taking home the title. Behind the pitching of Camdyn Morgillo and the clutch hitting of Joanna Fekieta and Katie Hoyt, the Westies defeated the Pacers 1-0 Tuesday afternoon in Hamden to win the Quinnipiac Division.
The win gives the Westies a berth in the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament in two weeks. The Westies, who improved to 10-5 on the season, shared the title last season with Mercy.
“It was a good win for us,” Biondi said. “It is nice to win the Quinnipiac Division. We always want to win that. Our goal was to get into the (SCC) tournament. That is fun to play in.”
After being held scoreless through six innings, the Westies pulled out the victory in the seventh inning. With two outs, Morgillo tripled to right off freshman Molly Flowers and scored on Fekieta’s double to left. Hoyt followed with a single, scoring Fekieta and giving Morgillo all the run support she needed.
“She (Fekieta) went into a little funk for a few games in the middle of the year but she is sitting back again,” Biondi said. “She is hitting real good right now. She is hitting the ball hard.”
Morgillo was brilliant for the Westies as she tossed a one-hitter, striking out 13. The sophomore pitcher overcame a West Haven error in the final inning by striking out the side.
“We did a great job,” Biondi said. “Camdyn was just unbelievable, She has saved us. The kid was awesome. She has 103 strikeouts in 91 innings. Not too many pitchers have struck out 100 in a season here.”
Morgillo needed to be brilliant as the Westies struggled to get the clutch hit all afternoon. West Haven had runners on in every inning but the second but failed to produce a run until the seventh.
With two runners on in the first, Hoyt grounded to third to end the inning. In the third, a walk by Shannon Connor, a single by Sierra Santana and a passed ball had a pair of runners in scoring position with one out. West Haven squandered that opportunity as Morgillo popped out and Fekieta hit a hard liner to right for the final out of the inning.
Sam Johnson singled with two outs in the fourth but was left stranded and Connor walked and stole second in the fifth but did not move. The Westies had a golden opportunity again in the sixth.
Fekieta led off with a walk and moved to second on Hoyt’s single to center. Cindy Johnson’s attempted sacrifice went for a single and the Westies had the bases loaded with no outs.
Sacred Heart starting pitcher Ana DeMaio was lifted for Flowers and Flowers did the job. After a battle with Sam Johnson, Flowers recorded the strikeout, then struck out Candace Lawrence and Carly Lindgren to end the inning.
“I am happy where we are,” Biondi said. “We gave away a couple of games we should have won but it all evens out.”

Injured Morgillo leads Westies past Mercy
West Haven improves to 11-5
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (May 13, 2011) –
 Having already clinched the Southern Connecticut Conference Quinnipiac Division title with a victory over Sacred Heart Academy on Tuesday, the West Haven softball team was now playing for seeding in both the SCC and state tournaments. Friday evening’s contest at Biondi Field would prove to be a challenge as the Westies were playing long-time nemesis Mercy – Middletown and would do so with an injured Camdyn Morgillo.
Morgillo hurt her right ankle in school and was a game-time decision. West Haven coach Frank Biondi made the right call as Morgillo tossed her third shutout of the week and the Westies defeated the Tigers 3-0.
West Haven improved to 11-5 with the victory. The win was West Haven’s fourth in a row and seventh in its last eight games.
“Camdyn hurt her ankle in school and I asked her to tell me if there was any issue out there,” Biondi said. “She said she was fine. That shows how tough she is. She threw three shutouts this week. That’s not too bad.”
Before Morgillo could walk away with another shutout, she had to get through a tough sixth inning. Mercy loaded the bases with no outs on an infield single by Kelly Murphy, a single by Haylle Reidy and a grounder by Tyler Keegan which went for a fielder’s choice as Morgillo attempted to go to third with no one covering.
Morgillo then relied on her defense. Christie Idiong grounded to shortstop Shannon Connor who threw home to get Murphy for the first out.
Brooke Franco followed with another grounder to Connor, but, this time Connor’s throw pulled catcher Katie Hoyt off the plate. Hoyt made a great play to scoop up the low throw and tag pinch-runner Nina Zimmitti for the second out. 
“We just wanted to beat them so bad,” Hoyt said. “I can’t explain it. I knew I had to make the play.”
Morgillo was not in the clear yet. Hillary LaRosa looped a shot which looked as if it would fall for a hit but Joanna Fekieta ran towards the base at second and made a running catch to end the inning.
“The sixth inning was big,” Biondi said. “The play at the plate was unbelievable. Katie made a great play. Joanna made a great play to get there and make the catch.”
Leading 1-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth, West Haven fed off the defensive play in the top of the inning by scoring twice for a 3-0 lead. Fekieta, Hoyt and Cindy Johnson singled to load the bases with no one out before Fekieta was forced out at home on Sam Johnson’s grounder back to Reidy.
Reidy then hit Candace Lawrence to force in Hoyt and Cindy Johnson scored on a passed ball for a 3-0 West Haven lead.
“It was a playoff atmosphere,” Biondi said. “The kids were pumped up to play. I think they gave even more tonight knowing Camdyn was hurt.”
West Haven gave Morgillo a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Sierra Santana singled and stole second with one out. Fekieta followed with a sharp single to right to score Santana with the only run Morgillo needed.
Morgillo’s first real threat of the game came in the fifth inning with two runners on base and one out. Morgillo got out of the inning as she struck out Tori Vickerman and got Sophia Panaccione on a liner to first which went off the glove of Cindy Johnson before she calmly flipped the ball to Fekieta at first.
Morgillo was solid once again as she allowed just four hits, struck out four and walked three in the victory.
“It (ankle) affected me a lot pitching,” Morgillo said. “I knew I had to give it all I had. I relied on my defense and they gave it their all. I think games like this will help us in the postseason. We have been in this position before when we play in those types of games.”
Reidy was almost as good, allowing six hits, striking out four and walking one.

Westies fall to Cheshire in twelve
Morgillo’s gem wasted
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 20, 2011) –
 The last time the West Haven softball team met Cheshire, the Westies were dominated in a home shutout against the Rams. After losing by ten runs in the first meeting of the two teams, the Westies were looking to avenge the earlier season loss Friday afternoon in Cheshire.
West Haven pitcher Camdyn Morgillo entered the game having posted three consecutive shutouts. While Morgillo extended that streak for eleven more innings,Cheshire scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the twelfth inning to beat the Westies 1-0.
“We left people on base all day,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said after his team fell to 11-6. “They got three bloop hits. They hit one ball hard all game.”
After West Haven squandered numerous scoring opportunities, Cheshire won the game in its final at bat. Sarah Duwenhoegger reached on an error by Shannon Connor to start the frame and moved to second on a sacrifice by Caroline Kushner. With two strikes, BryAnna McIntosh blooped a single to right which got by Lauren Caciopoli, allowing the winning run to score.
The rally by the Rams was just a limited sample of success on the day against Morgillo. The sophomore pitcher went the distance, not allowing an earned run.
“She (Morgillo) was great today,” Biondi said. “They did not hit the ball off her. She has been great.”
Playing without star hitter Joanna Fekieta, who missed the game as she was ill, the West Haven offense struggled. West Haven had seven hits in the game but none were of the timely variety.
Cindy Johnson doubled in the second but was left stranded as Candace Lawrence struck out. In the fourth, Morgillo and Katie Hoyt singled to put runners on the corners but pinch-runner Erica Lindsay was thrown out at the plate on Cindy Johnson’s grounder to first. Sam Johnson ended the frame with a grounder to short.
In the seventh, Cindy Johnson reached on an error and moved to second on Sam Johnson’s sacrifice. After Lawrence was hit by a pitch and both advanced on Caciapoli’s fly ball to center, both were stranded when Carly Lindgren grounded to short to end the inning.
“We hit the ball on the button all day,” Biondi said. “We just could not do anything with them.”
The best opportunity for West Haven in extra innings came in the eighth. Connor led off with a double and moved to third on Sierra Santana’s sacrifice. Cheshire pitcher Nicole D’Amato escaped as she got Morgillo on a pop out and Hoyt on a liner to center.
The Westies stranded Lawrence in the ninth, Santana in the tenth and Sam Johnson in the eleventh. West Haven was retired in order in the twelfth before Cheshire won the game in the bottom of the inning.
“This one hurts,” Biondi said. “It hurts as far as the states go. But, we showed we can play with them. That was big for us.”

North Haven spoils Senior Night for West Haven
Westies lose second straight
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (May 22, 2011) –
 After winning four straight games to improve to 11-5, the West Haven softball team was in a solid position with four games remaining in the regular season. Two games later, that position has started to slip away.
Looking to bounce back from an extra inning loss to Cheshire two days earlier, the Westies hosted North Haven on Senior Night Sunday evening at Biondi Field. Unable to come up with the clutch hit, West Haven lost its second straight game, 2-1, and fell to 11-7 on the year.
“This was a tough loss,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said. “This one tore the heart out of me. We have not cashed in on our opportunities. It has been like that all year.”
West Haven had its opportunities in the last two innings, trailing by a run. In the sixth, senior Shannon Connor laced a single to left, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on Sierra Santana’s grounder.
Connor was left stranded at third as Camdyn Morgillo’s hard hit grounder to second was fielded by Jessica Seaver for the third out of the inning.
The Westies had their final chance to tie the game in the seventh inning. Katie Hoyt reached on a one-out error and moved to second on Cindy Johnson’s single to left.
Sam Johnson moved both runners into scoring position with a grounder back to pitcher Arianna Pustari for the second out of the inning. With the game on the line, Pustari got Candace Lawrence on a grounder to first to end the contest.
“You can’t give opportunities away,” Biondi said.
West Haven got on the board first as Connor led off the first inning with a single to left and moved to second on Brittany Murray’s error. Santana’s grounder to second moved Connor to third where she scored on a wild pitch by Pustari.
“She (Connor) is starting to hit the ball well,” Biondi said. “She hit the ball well against Cheshire and did so again tonight.”
The Westies had a chance to increase the lead in the second inning as Cindy Johnson singled, stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice by Sam Johnson. Lawrence’s liner to first ended the inning.
Morgillo shut out the Indians over the first three innings but ran into trouble in the fourth. With one out, Krissy Cullen reached on an infield single and Brianne Melillo followed with a single to center.
When Sam Johnson’s throw sailed wide in the infield, both runners moved into scoring position. Gina Carbone followed with a single to right, allowing Cullen to score. When Lawrence bobbled the ball in right, Melillo scored for a 2-1 North Haven lead.
“Camdyn pitched well,” Biondi said. “She allowed one earned run. We had some questionable plays. She has to give up a run sooner or later.”
The loss dropped West Haven lower in the seedings for the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament and could prove costly as the Westies fight for a home game in the state tournament. 
Connor, Joanna Fekieta and Cindy Johnson each had two hits in the loss. Morgillo tossed a five-hitter, striking out four and walking one in the loss.

Lions keep streak alive against West Haven
Westies’ losing streak reaches three games
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 24, 2011) –
 With four games remaining in the regular season, the West Haven softball team was sitting pretty with 11 wins. Two games later, the Westies’ precious spot of almost certainly hosting a home game in the state tournament was hanging by a limb.
Looking to stop a two-game losing streak Tuesday afternoon in Milford, the Westies would have to face a streaking Foran team. When all was said and done, the Lions kept their winning streak alive at 14 games, while West Haven lost its third straight game, 3-0.
“It’s our third loss in a row,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said after his team fell to 11-8. “It’s another shutout. We have scored one run in three games and one of the games was twelve innings. That’s almost two games. I am not happy.”
West Haven could not get the clutch hit all afternoon against Foran pitcher Taylor Harkness. The Westies had only three hits on the afternoon and none were of the clutch variety.
“I am concerned with the offense,” Biondi said. “We are not hitting in the clutch. We have to be able to score runs. We put too much pressure on the defense. We are not getting the hits when we need them.”
The Westies had their opportunities against Harkness but could not capitalize. Camdyn Morgillo hit a two-out single in the first but Joanna Fekieta’s hard hit grounder was snared by Harkness to end the frame.
After Marissa Bruno’s single scored Sage Esposito in the first, West Haven was in comeback mode from the start. Shannon Connor hit a two-out single in the third but was stranded when Sierra Santana grounded back to Harkness.
The Lions took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the inning. Rachel Booth hit a fly ball to center but Sam Johnson slipped on the wet grass and Booth ended up at third with a triple. Bruno followed with a two-out single to right for a 2-0 lead.
“The only play affected by the field was the fly ball to Sammy,” Biondi said. “You could see the marks in the field. She just lost her footing.”
The Westies squandered Cindy Johnson’s walk to lead off the fifth and again squandered another opportunity on a two-out single by Cindy Johnson in the seventh.
“We are not getting clutch hits,” Biondi said. “I have been saying that for a while. When we get opportunities, we have to cash in once in a while.”
Foran added a run in the sixth for a 3-0 lead.

Morgillo leads Westies past Amity
Tosses one-hitter to snap skid
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 25, 2011) -
 If ever a team needed a victory, that team was the West Haven softball team. Losers of three straight contests and in jeopardy of squandering an opening round home game in the state tournament, the Westies traveled to play an Amity team which put a thorough beating on the Westies earlier in the season.
With Camdyn Morgillo pitching this time around, the Westies snapped their three-game skid. Morgillo allowed just one hit in the game and West Haven scored three times in the third inning to defeat the Spartans 4-1 in Woodbridge.
“They did not hit her well,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said of Morgillo after his team improved to 12-8. “They had a lot of half swings. There were only two hard hit balls all day. She gave up an unearned run.”
After going quietly in the first two innings, the West Haven bats awakened in the third inning. Sam Johnson reached on an error to start the rally and moved to second on an Amber Bonewicz sacrifice. Candace Lawrence was hit by a pitch and Shannon Connor followed with a grounder to put runners on the corners with two outs.
Sierra Santana came up with what may be West Haven’s biggest hit of the year when she singled to right, scoring Sam Johnson. Morgillo followed with another single to right, scoring Connor for a 2-0 lead. The rally continued as Joanna Fekieta singled to left to score Santana for a 3-0 lead.
“It’s not that we got a lot of hits, but we got some timely hits,” Biondi said. “We had some good swings that they made some plays on. We had a two-out rally with three straight hits. That’s what is important. We got the hits when we needed them. We were not hitting in the clutch before that.”
Amity got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning as Alyssa Mirmina reached on an error and scored on Amity’s lone hit of the day. Catherine Semones’ double brought in Mirmina, cutting the deficit to 3-1.
Amity threatened for more, but Morgillo was up for the challenge. With runners on second and third and two outs in the inning, Morgillo struck out Dana Blydenburg to end the frame.
“She (Morgillo) threw the ball well today,” Biondi said.
After stranding Connor on second in the fifth inning, West Haven added an insurance run in the sixth. Fekieta and Cindy Johnson walked, setting up a two-out single to right by Bonewicz to score Fekieta for a 4-1 lead.
“We played a good game today,” Biondi said. “I yelled at them after the (Foran) game yesterday. I told the seniors there were two ways they can go. That was to mail it in or give it all they had and try and straighten this out. They played a whole lot harder. That’s all you can ask for.”
Morgillo then sealed the contest. The sophomore retired the final seven batters as West Haven finally got back in the win column. 

















Sam Johnson connects in win against Amity. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

















Shannon Connor makes the tag in West Haven's victory over Amity. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

West Haven defeats Cheshire in opener of SCC tourney
Westies avenge two losses to Rams
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (May 26, 2011) –
 West Haven softball coach Frank Biondi was not happy with the play of his team and let the girls know about it after a loss to Foran earlier in the week. After beating Amity on Wednesday, the Westies had a chance to avenge a pair of regular season losses to Cheshire as the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament began Thursday evening.
Taking advantage of a two-out error by the Rams in the fourth inning, West Haven scored four times to overcome a two-run deficit and beat the Rams 4-2 at Piurek Field. With the victory, West Haven (13-8) will face top-seeded Foran in the semifinals Saturday at 5 p.m. at Piurek Field.
“We got some clutch two-out hits,” Biondi said. “That’s what you have to do. You have to give the kid (pitcher Camdyn Morgillo) some runs. We put too much pressure on our defense.”
Trailing 2-0 in the fourth inning, it looked as if the Westies were going to squander another scoring opportunity off Cheshire pitcher Nicole D’Amato. With Sierra Santana on third and Joanna Fekieta on second, Katie Hoyt lofted a fly ball to left.
Cheshire’s Sarah Duwenhoegger raced in but dropped the ball, allowing Santana and Fekieta to score to even the game at two. Cindy Johnson followed with a line drive triple to center to score Hoyt before Johnson scored on a wild pitch by D’Amato for a 4-2 lead.
“This is a huge win for us,” Cindy Johnson said. “We were coming off a win against Amity and we wanted to keep the momentum going.
“It felt good to get the hit. I have been hitting but with no luck. I think this can give us a lot of confidence.”
Staked to a 4-2 lead, Morgillo did the rest. With the bases loaded and one out in the fifth, Morgillo escaped by getting BryAnna McIntosh on a liner to third and Anna Marcucilli on a fly ball to right.
West Haven’s defense then went to work in the sixth. After Morgillo hit Ali Giannone to start the frame, D’Amato grounded to Shannon Connor at short. Connor fed Fekieta at second for the first out before Fekieta’s quick turn completed the double play.
Cheshire had one last opportunity to even the game in the seventh inning. With runners on first and second, Morgillo got McIntosh on a pop up to Fekieta to end the contest.
“Cindy’s hit was big,” Biondi said of Johnson’s fourth inning triple. “I am happy for her. She plays so hard. We got the big hits and we turned two nice double plays in the game. Jo (Fekieta) made that last one. She got rid of the ball so fast. Shannon did a great job getting her the ball.”
Cheshire took a 2-0 lead in the third inning as Alexa DiLeo singled to center and moved to second on Brittany Orcutt’s sacrifice. With two outs, Caroline Kushner singled to score DiLeo and an error by Carly Lindgren in right allowed Kushner to score one batter later.
The Rams tried to extend the lead but were denied in the fourth inning. Giannone led off with a single but was erased when Lauren Fountain’s one-out grounder to Morgillo was turned into a double play to end the inning.
“It’s great to get the win,” Biondi said. “They beat us twice in the regular season. I think the last game (1-0 loss in twelve innings) against them gave us confidence we can beat them.”
Cindy Johnson led the Westies as she reached base in both plate appearances with a walk and a triple. Santana also reached twice on a walk and single. Kushner ledCheshire with two hits in the loss. 

















Cindy Johnson played solid defense and delivered a run-scoring triple in SCC quarterfinal victory over Cheshire. Photo courtesy of Bill O'Brien.  

Westies headed to SCC finals
Snap Foran’s 16-game winning streak
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue                              
WEST HAVEN (May 28, 2011) –
 Four days prior to playing Foran in the Southern Connecticut Conference semifinals, West Haven coach Frank Biondi felt his team had let one slip away. In a loss to the Lions, West Haven was skidding as the regular season was coming to an end.
A rather blunt Biondi stated to his team after the game, there were two ways to go for the Westies. They could ride out the season or turn things around. West Haven has chosen the latter.
Three games later, the Westies are on a roll after beating Amity, Cheshire and Foran. The victory over the Lions Saturday afternoon in the SCC semifinals ended Foran’s 16-game winning streak as the fourth-seeded Westies defeated No. 1 Foran 3-0 at Biondi Field.
With the victory, West Haven advanced to the team’s fourth SCC final against No. 6 Mercy, a 5-1 winner over No. 2 Sheehan. West Haven has not won in its three trips to the finals and will face a Mercy team which the Westies will also host Tuesday evening in the first round of the CIAC Class LL state tournament.
“This is nice,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said after his team improved to 14-8. “I look at this as preparation for the state tournament. It is certainly nice to be here. We want to win it.”
West Haven got on the board first in the top of the second inning. Joanna Fekieta started the rally with a single to left, moved to second on Katie Hoyt’s sacrifice and moved to third when Cindy Johnson singled. After Cindy Johnson stole second, Sam Johnson’s grounder to first scored Fekieta for a 1-0 lead.
Fekieta’s run would be all pitcher Camdyn Morgillo needed as the sophomore was in complete control, allowing just three hits, striking out three and not walking a batter. Morgillo pitched to just two batters over the minimum as the defense played a big part, especially Hoyt who threw out two runners attempting to steal.
“She was fantastic,” Biondi said about Morgillo who improved to 14-6 on the season.” She did a great job. She was in control. They did not hit a ball hard all day.”
Morgillo’s biggest threat came in the third inning when Rebekah DeRosa led off with a single and stole second. Morgillo, who pitched to just three batters in five of the seven innings, stalled that threat with a strikeout and two pop outs to end the inning.
The Westies added two insurance runs in the sixth. Shannon Connor, who had two hits in the game and is finding her swing at the right time, led off with a single.
Connor moved to second on Sierra Santana’s ground ball and score on Morgillo’s single to right. Fekieta walked to put a pair of runners on before pinch-runner Sheila Carlson scored on an error for a 3-0 lead.
“Shannon had two hits,” Biondi said of his senior shortstop. “That is important for us. She is starting to hit the ball better. That is a big plus for us. We got some big hits today.”
Morgillo did the rest from the circle. She retired the Lions in order in the sixth and after Sage Esposito reached on an error in the seventh, got the next three outs, including Gina Georgetti on a fly ball to right for the final out.
West Haven, which has already defeated Mercy twice in the regular season, will look to sweep the four games played against Tigers this year, something which is very hard to do. For West Haven, the first battle is the SCC championship contest.

Mercy defeats Westies for SCC title
Tigers win for first time in three tries against WH
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (May 29, 2011) –
 Knowing they would meet again in the first round of the CIAC Class LL state tournament two days later, neither the West Haven or Mercy softball teams held anything back in the finals of the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament. Having already defeated the Tigers twice in the regular season, the Westies knew it would be a tall task to win all four meetings on the year.
When all was said and done Sunday afternoon at Biondi Field, Mercy took advantage of a West Haven error and took home the SCC crown with a 1-0 victory. The Tigers won their third outright title as they also shared the championship in 2005 with Amity.
For West Haven, it marked the fourth title appearance for the Westies without a victory. West Haven also came in second in 1998, 2002 and 2004.
“I went into it looking at it as another game towards preparing for the state tournament,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said. “But, when you get into the finals, you want to win it. I was saying to myself we have to beat Mercy four times this year. If I had my choice, I would rather lose today. But, to lose the way we did hurts.”
Biondi was referring to the unearned run Mercy scored in the fourth inning which held up as the final score. Christie Idiong led off the fourth inning with a bunt which was fielded by West Haven pitcher Camdyn Morgillo.
Morgillo’s throw was low and eluded Joanna Fekieta who was covering first. Idiong reached second on the play and moved to third on Sophia Panaccione’s sacrifice. Hillary LaRosa then sent a pop fly towards center where shortstop Shannon Connor made a diving grab.
With Connor’s back to the plate, Idiong tagged up. By the time Connor got the throw home, Idiong had scored and Mercy led 1-0.
That run was all Mercy pitcher Haylle Reidy needed. Reidy tossed a three-hitter, striking out four and walking one.
“She (Reidy) did what she needed to do,” Biondi said. “We didn’t hit.”
West Haven had its chances but never capitalized. The best scoring opportunities for West Haven came in the second and fourth innings but the Westies could not get a clutch hit.
At the center of both rallies, Fekieta led off the second inning with a double. Fekieta would go no further as Katie Hoyt popped out and Cindy Johnson grounded to second, moving Fekieta to third. Reidy escaped with no damage as she struck out Sam Johnson to end the frame.
In the fourth, Morgillo led off with a walk and Fekieta followed by getting hit in the elbow with a Reidy pitch. With two on and no one out, the Westies had a golden opportunity to tie the game.
That never happened as Hoyt’s attempted bunt was turned into a force out at third. That played proved to be big as Cindy Johnson followed with a long fly ball to left for the second out. Sam Johnson popped out for the final out to end West Haven’s threat.
“We did not hit when we were supposed to,” Biondi said. “It is hard to find a silver lining right now. Okay, maybe we don’t have to worry about beating them four times in a row, but I am sure it helps them too.
“Those two innings killed us without a doubt. We have been having trouble down in the bottom of the order.”
West Haven had one final threat in the fifth as Connor hit a two-out single. Reidy got out of the jam by retiring Sierra Santana on a pop up to end the inning. Santana marked the first of seven in a row Reidy retired to end the game. 
Morgillo was solid from the circle. She allowed three hits, struck out five and walked four. The sophomore pitcher allowed one unearned run in the loss.
“The kid is unbelievable,” Biondi said of Morgillo. “She started off the game a bit rough but after that, she settled in. She did a great job. What else is she supposed to do? She retired nine of the last ten batters she faced. “

















Shannon Connor makes sensational catch against Mercy with Sam Johnson (l.) and Joanna Fekieta (r.) converging. Photo courtesy of Bill O'Brien. 

















Another view of Shannon Connor's sensational catch. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
































Katie Hoyt hangs on to get the force at the plate in SCC title game against Mercy. Photos courtesy of Bill O'Brien. 

















Sam Johnson makes runninmg catch in SCC finals against Mercy. Photo courtesy of Bill O'Brien. 

Westies open state tourney with victory over Mercy
Win avenges SCC loss
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue                             
WEST HAVEN (May 31,2011) – 
Just two days prior to the start of the CIAC Class LL state tournament,  the West Haven and Mercy softball teams battled for the Southern Connecticut Conference championship. After defeating the Tigers twice during the regular season, West Haven watched as Mercy won to take home the crown.
While they did not feel that way Sunday afternoon, the loss may have been some motivation for the Westies as the state tournament began Tuesday afternoon. Behind a clutch run-scoring single by Sam Johnson in the sixth inning, a pair of run-scoring singles by freshman Sierra Santana and the two-hit pitching of Camdyn Morgillo, the 14th-seeded Westies avenged the SCC loss to defeat No.19 Mercy 3-2 in the opening round of the state tournament at Biondi Field.
“This was the better game to win,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said of the two games between the teams in three days. “If I had my choice, I would have taken this one. This is a nice feeling. I know what they (Mercy) are feeling right now and it is not a good feeling. All of a sudden it’s over.”
Trailing 2-1, West Haven scored once in each of the fifth and sixth innings to pull out the victory. With the game knotted at two, the Westies rallied.
Joanna Fekieta started the winning rally in the sixth inning with a walk and moved to second on Katie Hoyt’s sacrifice. After Cindy Johnson walked, Sam Johnson hit a grounder up the middle which Mercy shortstop Victoria Vickerman made a diving play on.
Vickerman had no play and an alert Fekieta never stopped running. Fekieta easily scored to give West Haven a 3-2 lead.
“As soon as I saw the ball hit, I knew I had to score,” Fekieta said. “I just kept saying I had to score. This feels great.
“I think the loss may have worked to our advantage. We wanted to win Sunday, but we used it today to help us.”
With a 3-2 lead, Morgillo did the rest. The sophomore pitcher retired the side in order in the seventh and finished the game by retiring the last seven batters in a row.
In the seventh, Carly Lindgren made a nice running catch of a Christie Idiong fly ball to start the inning and Sam Johnson made a nice catch of a line drive by Hillary LaRosa.
“This is so big for us,” Sam Johnson said. “We wanted that championship game on Sunday. We wanted this game. It is so hard to beat them.
“We just picked each other up. When we are down, it is a domino effect. We all wanted to pick each other up.”
The Westies picked up Amber Bonewicz who dropped an inning-ending fly ball in the fifth inning, allowing Sophia Panaccione to score the go-ahead run. West Havenquickly answered in the bottom of the inning.
“We showed a lot of character,” Biondi said. “The kids we needed to come through came through. I am happy they did.”
Bonewicz drew a one-out walk and was sacrificed to second by Candace Lawrence. After Shannon Connor walked, Santana hit a line drive single to left, scoring Bonewicz with the tying run.
“There was a lot of pressure,” Santana said of the tying hit. “We were behind a run and we had made some errors. Everyone was down. All season I have been putting pressure on myself. I just wanted to relax. I saw the ball really well.
“This is big for us. They knocked us out of the SCC tournament. This feels really good.”
West Haven got on the board first with a run in the third inning. With one out, Lawrence and Connor walked. Santana had the first of her two run-scoring singles as she grounded a hard shot by Vickerman to score Lawrence for a 1-0 lead.
Morgillo went the distance in the victory, allowing two hits, striking out four and walking one batter. Mercy pitcher Haylle Reidy allowed just three hits, striking out eight and walking seven in the loss.

Stunning end
Westies fall 2-1 in Class LL second round to Conard
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(June 1, 2011) –
 The season has come to a stunning close for the West Haven softball team. Traveling to West Hartford to play third-seeded Conard, the 14th-seeded Westies were looking to get to the quarterfinals with a victory.
While all signs pointed to advancing early in the contest, a weather delay and some poor play by the Westies allowed the Chieftains to fight back and defeat West Haven2-1 in second round action of the CIAC Class LL state tournament.
With the loss, West Haven finishes the season with a 15-10 record. Conard advances to the quarterfinals against No. 27 Trumbull.
“It’s disappointing,” West Haven coach Frank Biondi said of the loss. “I felt we had a good shot at a home game if we won the game. Even if we didn’t, we would playNewtown and I was alright with that as they beat us last year in the quarterfinals. We needed no motivation to get to the quarterfinals. My feeling is we had a good shot to get to the semifinals.”
With West Haven leading 1-0, thunder and lightning set in, forcing a delay after the top of the fourth inning. When the two teams resumed play, the Chieftains were ready to go.
Bridget Manning led off the bottom of the fourth with a bloop single to right and moved to second on the play as the ball skipped away from Carly Lindgren. After West Haven pitcher Camdyn Morgillo got the next out, Mallory Martucci singled on an 0-2 pitch to even the game at one.
While Morgillo escaped further damage in the fourth inning, she could not do the same in the sixth. With one out, Caelese Brown reached on an infield single and stole second. Martucci’s fly ball sent Brown to third where she would score the eventual winning run on a passed ball.
“Camdyn pitched a great game,” Biondi said of his pitcher. “She could have pitched twenty innings. She did not deserve to lose the game. It was not pretty.”
West Haven had limited opportunities in the game against Conard pitcher Jessica Dufault. Morgillo singled in the first with two outs but was left stranded when Joanna Fekieta hit a fly ball to center. Morgillo’s hit was the only one on the day for the Westies.
Dufault retired seven in a row before Sierra Santana reached on an error to start the fourth inning. Santana stole second and moved to third on Morgillo’s sacrifice. The freshman scored with two outs on a botched pickoff attempt for a 1-0 West Haven lead.
“Our offense hurt us,” Biondi said. “We did not hit.”
Dufault retired the final twelve batters she faced after Santana reached on the fourth inning error. West Haven’s last chance to tie the game in the seventh went quietly as Morgillo popped out, Fekieta grounded out to third and Katie Hoyt hit a fly ball to left to end the game and West Haven’s season.
“We had a good run,” Biondi said of the postseason in which the Westies fell one game short of a Southern Connecticut Conference title. “It’s too bad it’s over.”

All-State Players - Stacey Dixon '93; Tammy Hackley '93; Kim DeMayo '94; Angelina Sousa '94; Shannon Curren '95; Laurie DelGrego '98; Liz Vaccino '89; Lindsay Connor '03; Vicci Duane '04; Krystle Denny '04; Shannon Connor '09, '10; Elaina Maio '10; Joanna Fekieta '11
Retired Numbers - Tammy Hackley (Class of 1993) #13

Westies pose for postseason honors. From left to right are Shannon Connor (All-SCC and Academic All-State), Cindy Johnson (All-SCC), Camdyn Morgillo (All-SCC) and Joanna Fekieta (All-SCC and All-State). Photo courtesy of Bill O'Brien.

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 Joanna Fekieta was solid all year for the Westies. Photo courtesy of Bill O'Brien.