Cadets defeat Vikings in softball semifinals

The opening game of the FCIAC softball semifinals went to extra innings on Tuesday. The nightcap was decided in the first inning.

Top-seed St. Joseph scored four runs in the bottom of the first to take an early lead and set the tone for its 12-1 defeat of fourth-seed Westhill of Stamford at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield.

Coach Jeff Babineau’s Cadets will now look to win their second straight conference title when they play third-seed Stamford High in the finals on Thursday at 5 at Sacred Heart. Stamford defeated second-seed Darien, 4-2, in eight innings in the first semifinal Tuesday.

Nicole Williams was a catalyst for St. Joseph with her arm and bat. The junior righthander held Westhill to one run on three hits while walking one and striking out six.

At the plate, Williams went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, including a three-run homer over the fence in left center in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Amy Chacho’s two-run single was flanked by run-scoring singles from Williams and Kayla Giacobbe to account for the Cadets’ four runs in the bottom of the first.

St. Joseph added two runs in the second to go ahead 6-0, before Westhill got its lone run in the top of the third on Gabby Laconna’s RBI single, which followed Adrianna Gambino’s double.

Williams kept the Vikings scoreless after that, and St. Joseph answered with two runs in the third and four more in the fifth, ending the scoring on Williams’ fence-clearing, three-run blast.

Lauren Pitney and Williams each finished with three hits for the Cadets, and Melissa Bike, Jovanna Hillman, Hanna Errico and Chacho added two hits apiece.

Westhill starting pitcher Casey Dicine departed with two outs and her team trailing 6-0 in the bottom of the second. Gambino relieved Dicine and pitched the rest of the game for the Vikings.