Softball: Trumbull precise in its win over Warde

TRUMBULL — There is an exactitude, a meticulous attention to detail in the way Trumbull High goes about its business.

Coach Jacqui Sheftz’ Eagles don’t surprise an opponent  — they rely on muscle memory born from repetitive drilling to play the game right.

Trumbull used its training to top Fairfield Warde, 5-0, on Tuesday afternoon. 

Make an errant throw, the Eagles will steal a run.

Hit a hard liner, Trumbull will challenge your will with a double play. 

“We spend a lot of time on our base running,” Sheftz said. “We trust our instincts. Some teams go base to base. We like to be aggressive.”

Ranked No. 4 in the latest GameTimeCT Top 10 poll, the 15-1 Eagles took advantage of two errors to score five runs in the second inning.

That was all that Emily Gell needed. A right-handed senior, Gell pitched a five hitter with none of the safeties coming in the same inning. She struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter.

She left the rest up to her fielders.

After Jasmine Castro singled to lead off the Warde fourth, Amanda Petrizzi followed with a grounder to the right side. Gell nodded her head in a positive fashion when Julia Huzi threw her out at first.

“Our defense as a whole can make the play,” Gell said of the moment. “It is what we pride ourselves on. Coach was mixing the pitch calls so that we could put the ball in play and let our defense work.”

Gell wasn’t out of trouble, with opposing hurler Olivia Vadas due up. 

Vadas ripped a line drive toward right field. Eagle second sacker Kiley Barbagallo snatched the ball off her shoetops. In one motion she fired to second, where the speedy Castro had taken a great secondary lead. Huzi beat her back to the bag by a half-step for the inning-ending double play.

In the decisive second frame, Alexa Adinolfi walked with one out and Barbagallo reached on an infield single. The runners moved up on a wild pitch, but Vadas caught the next batter looking at strike three. Ava Dunn then plated two runs when her grounder was misplayed.

A single by Maggie Coffin and a walk to Huzi led to Kenzie Bruggeman singling through the hole into right field to drive in two more runs.

Huzi was on third when a throw back to Vadas rolled to shortstop. Huzi’s head was in the game, her eyes never left the throw, and she hustled home for a 5-0 lead.

“Any time we can spot our pitchers — either Emily or Kenzie a lead, we are in good shape,” Sheftz said.

The two errors in the inning wasn’t typical of the Mustangs’ defense.

“I think we’ve only made three or four errors on the season,” Warde coach Kenya McVey said of her 10-3 club. “We couldn’t pull our defense together today. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get Olivia any runs. She has pitched 23 innings in our last three games.”

Huzi, Barbagallo, Shannon O’Shea, Maggie Coffin, Bruggeman, Cassie Barbato and Dunn had hits for Trumbull.

Leading Warde were Petrizzi, Castro, Avery Yardis, Lizzie Kane and Vadas.


Julia Huzi handled six chances flawlessly from her shortstop position. She had a walk, a hit and scored a run.


“We spend a lot of time on our base running,” Sheftz said. “We trust our instincts. Some teams go base to base. We like to be aggressive.”


Warde’s Olivia Vadas — The Mustang’s pitcher struck out eight batters, didn’t allow an earned run, and was robbed on an RBI opportunity when Trumbull turned her line drive into a double play.


Warde     000 000 0 — 0 5 2

Trumbull 050 000 x — 5 7 0

Batteries: Warde- Olivia Vadas (LP) and Lizzie Kane; Trumbull – Emily Gell (WP) and Cassie Barbato

Records: Warde 10-3; Trumbull 15-1