BY KEN MORSE
The Union City Little League softball all-stars made a strong showing in the District 3 tournament.
In the 8-10 year-old division, UCLL compiled a 1-2 record, unloading an offense that generated 33 runs.
The Major girls 10-12 year-old team finished as Division 3 runner-up. They went 2-2 and scored 15 runs while surrendering 16.
In the younger division, UCLL dropped a tough 7-4 decision to Oxford in the tournament opener. That sent the locals into the elimination round and they came out fired up, earning a 14-7 win over George J. Hummel of Seymour.
Brynn Duquette set the tone on defense by pulling off an unassisted triple play in the field. Tessa Singley provided several clutch hits. The pitching of Jaysa Martin, Avery Sherwood and Jayden Reynolds kept UCLL competitive and the play of MaKayla Brenes behind the plate was key in holding runners close. Isabella Pabon and Jayden Mercado showed strong throwing arms and played stellar defense in the field.
In the next game against Oxford, UCLL held a 14-12 lead in the bottom of the last inning before a late three run rally ended the tournament run in a 15-14 loss.
The Major girls relied on the pitching and catching sister act of Jordan and Paige Kovach. In the opener, UCLL escaped with a 7-5 win over Seymour/Ansonia. Cynthia Singleton got things started with a bunt single and then stole all three bases to get her team on the board.
Angie Shivas put things out of reach when she cleared the bases with a double. Shivas accounted for six of the seven runs scored.
In the next game against Shelton, the game went to extra innings tied at 2-2. Shivas was intentionally walked multiple times and Shelton escaped with a 6-3 win in 10 innings.
“Our girls played hard,” said UCLL coach Brian DeRosa. “We had a strong pitching game with sisters Jordan and Paige. Myla DeRosa led the team in hitting and we had some sensational plays made in the field between Sam Myers and Madeline Cheney recording several double plays.”
Playing out of the elimination bracket, UCLL held on for a 2-1 win over Seymour/Ansonia. Paige Kovach scored the go-ahead run in the fourth inning on a hit from her older sister Jordan.
It came down to another showdown with Shelton. UCLL had to win twice in order to take the district. The locals battled hard but fell short by a slim 4-3 margin.
The Major girls runner-up team was made up of: Jordan Kovach, Madeline Cheney, Myla DeRosa, Miley Massicotte, Paige Kovach, Madeline DeRosa, Carly Luchina, Sam Myers, Angie Shivas, Chloe Murphy, Madison Kwasinskas and Cynthia Singleton.
“A lot of these girls have played together or against one another for the past several years, so I think team chemistry came into play and the girls really bonded together on the field,” added DeRosa. “I think this experience will prepare them to go on and be even more competitive next season.”
BY KEN MORSE