BRISTOL - The Connecticut state champ Fairfield Girls Softball Little League team got right back to its winning ways Sunday morning.
Connecticut showcased strong baserunning and the ability to get out of tough situations in the field, leading to its second victory in as many days with a 6-1 win over Maine in the Little League Softball Eastern Regional held at Breen Field in Bristol.
Anna Gedacht started on the mound for Connecticut and threw 67 of her 82 pitches for strikes in a complete game performance, with four strikeouts and no walks.
“It’s hard to keep calm when there’s so much pressure of trying to finish off innings,” Gedacht said. “But my team has helped me calm down and my coaches. It’s all their support that’s helped me calm down and execute my pitches.”
The biggest challenge for Gedacht came in the bottom of the fifth inning.
York Little League of Maine’s Chloe Bourque, Ava Brent and Madison Raymond each reached base to begin the inning.
With a 4-1 lead at the time, Connecticut was tested and the lead could have quickly disappeared, but Gedacht and the fielders behind her got three straight ground ball outs to escape the inning with no runs across.
“That could have been the pendulum swinging in the other direction,” Connecticut manager Jim Andretta said. “It could have been really tough for us to swing back. That Maine is a tough team, they deserve to be here and they’re a very sportsmanlike team. We appreciated playing them.”
Elena Ohe, Chelsea Villar and Allie Ortiz led Connecticut at the plate in the Nos. 2-4 spots in the batting order.
Ohe showed her ability to perform in situational spots. She drove in Gabby Mercado in the top of the third inning to give Connecticut a 2-1 lead, which ultimately was all Connecticut needed.
Ohe drove in two runs.
“On those two at bats with a runner on third, my team really did their best and got on base,” Ohe said. “And they performed for me and I was just told specifically to get on base or score the run so I tried to turn on the ball and it worked out, because I got the runs in and did my job. I felt really great doing that.”
Villar and Ortiz had four of Connecticut’s hits in the game.
In the top of the first inning, Ortiz drove in Villar with an RBI single for the first run of the game.
In the top of the sixth inning, Villar drove the ball to the right side and obstruction on the second baseman was called for getting in the way of Connecticut base runner Ohe. It resulted in one RBI for Villar and the fifth run of the game for Connecticut.
Villar scored two runs in the game.
Della Jackson finished the game 1-for-3 in the leadoff spot for Connecticut and scored a pair of runs.
Gedacht was the other Connecticut base runner to come around and score.
Maine got a strong performance at the plate by Raymond. The No. 3 hitter went 3-for-3 and drove in Maine’s sole run of the day.
Bourque, Brent, McKayla Kortes, Adah King and Emerson Joyce added the other hits for Maine.
Connecticut’s next game will be on Monday at 4 p.m., taking on Pennsylvania, which beat Massachusetts 5-0 in its first game of the Eastern Regional.
“It’s just a lot of hard work and practice over the winter and in the offseason,” Gedacht said. “We’re all really excited. We’re pumped and excited to move on to the next game.”