Angelo's RBI single lifts Trumbull softball

Sarah Angelo singled home Taylor Brown in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a tie and the ninth-seeded Trumbull High softball team defeated visiting Staples of Westport, 4-3, in a Class LL state tournament first-round game on Wednesday.

Ally Szabo gave up only one earned run and set down the 24th-seeded Wreckers through the middle innings.

“Sarah scores our first run, makes a great diving catch and then drives in the winning run,” Eagles’ head coach Cary Nadel said of his junior second baseman.

“Ally has really good focus. She has short memory and for a pitcher that is critical.”

Staples trailed 3-1 in the top of the sixth inning when a pair of errors to start the frame ignited a two-run rally.

In the bottom of the inning, Brown worked out a one-out walk from Gillian Birk, who had come on in relief in the middle of Trumbull’s three-run third-inning rally.

A righthanded sophomore with a great curveball, Birk set down 9-of-10 batters before issuing the free pass on a checked-swing inducing 3-2 pitch.

Jayme Thompson’s half-swing resulted in a comebacker to the circle, and Birk had only a play to first as Brown moved into scoring position.

Angelo then singled sharply to center to bring home the go-ahead run on the Eagles’ seventh hit of the game.

Staples (10-11) came out swinging and put a run on the scoreboard with two of its four hits coming in the top of the first.

“We hit the ball,” said Staples head coach and former Eagle mentor Charlie Judge. “We did well (coming back) and will have everyone back next season.”

Gabby Perry led off the game with a double inside the third base bag and scored on Emily Lustbader’s RBI single to left.

Angelo went into shallow right field to make a diving grab of Birk’s bid for a base hit to end the inning.

Trumbull looked to tie the game in the second after Szabo doubled with one out and Jayme Thompson reached on a two-out infield error.

With runners on the corners, Staples got the out at home on the tail end of a double steal attempt.

Trumbull put a four-hit attack together to knock out Lustbader, Staples’ starting pitcher, in the home third.

Angelo singled over the second base bag to get things started and Kristen Dutertre lined a triple up the gap in left-center field to tie the game.

That turned the lineup over to leadoff batter Harleigh Kacegowicz, who promptly hit a solid RBI single to center.

Erica Fluskey’s fielder’s choice grounder and Lea Thompson’s walk put two runners aboard for Emily Clark.

The senior lined a run-scoring single to give Trumbull a 3-1 lead.

Judge brought in Birk here and she was on the receiving end of two fine defensive plays to get out of the jam.

Szabo struck out one batter in the perfect fourth and two more in the fifth.

Trumbull looked to add to its lead in the fifth, only to be denied by a home-run-saving catch by Robyn Adelkopf in left field.

Fluskey singled with one out and Lea Thompson drove the next pitch high in the air to left, where Adelkopf’s back banged into the fence as she made the grab before the ball left the yard.

No. 8 Middletown (16-5) defeated No. 25 Manchester and will host Trumbull (16-5) Thursday at 4 p.m.