FCIAC

Softball: Strong Pitching And Defense Propel Stamford To Class LL Quarterfinals

STAMFORD — The Stamford softball team looks poised to make another postseason run after a hard-fought win against Amity Regional, with a 1-0 on Thursday in the second round of the CIAC Class L Tournament.

“Amity is a great team, and we’re very happy to come out on top,” Stamford coach Tony Esposito said. “Sara pitched a great game, it was a total team effort. Everything fell into place. I’m very proud of the way these kids played.”

Four innings went by without a score on Stamford’s home field. Both teams stayed strong defensively, but could not string together any type of run that could have produced a lead.

Stamford made two crucial plays early, the first of which came in the top of the third where catcher Tori Cuscuna caught an Amity runner stealing second and connected with Nikki Pease to get the out. In the top of the fourth, centerfielder Lauren O’Neill made a running catch in the outfield to prevent a possible double.

FCIAC

Enter The Ruden Report Play Of The Year Contest

With the end of the FCIAC sports season less than two weeks away, we are in search of the best play of the past school year.

Was it a touchdown catch, a last-second shot, a big save, a top gymnastics routine or just a unique play that really stood out?

It is time to get those videos ready for The Ruden Report’s Play Of The Year contest, presented by Rhone Apparel and Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy.

The winning prize package includes a $100 gift certificate from Rhone, a $100 gift certificate of the winner’s choice and a free batting lesson with Frank Ramppen, a former minor league player and assistant coach to Bobby Valentine in Japan who runs the BVSA.

FCIAC

Football: ‘Greenwich High School Is The Alabama Of Connecticut.’ Q And A With New Cardinals Coach John Marinelli

It has been nearly two months since New Canaan offensive coordinator John Marinelli was hired as the new football coach at Greenwich. Though just 29, Marinelli was given a lot of responsibility in his previous position by his father Lou, the Rams’ head coach.

Confident, knowledgeable and occasionally outspoken, Marinelli recently sat down with The Ruden Report to go behind the scenes since his hiring.

The Ruden Report: Just how hard was the choice to leave New Canaan? Your dad told me he was in a schedule committee meeting the night before and you sent him a text saying you were staying put. He said he wanted to ring your neck.

John Marinelli: That was the text message I sent him. Family is very important to me. Being able to work with your dad every day was a very important thing in my life. Something very special and very rare. The next morning I woke up and was going to work and I got some phone calls from people I trust that just wanted to hear me talk and I just talked. At the end of the day, if I want to be the role model I want to be, if I want to be the person I want to be, to take a job like Greenwich and really go after something you desire in your life, then this was the opportunity to do that. I guess throughout the process I needed someone to tell me do you really want to be in your dad’s shadow the whole time. I never thought I was but public perception put me there, but I was granted opportunities because of who he is. I always tried to put a stamp on what I did. For me to be able to now make my own name and sign my name as the author is a very unique opportunity. I’m 29 years old. Greenwich High School is the Alabama of Connecticut. It’s the best place to be in Connecticut. I can’t tell you how excited I am. Now a month later, what the hell was I thinking about not taking the job?

Baseball

Commentary: Staples Baseball And New Canaan Girls Lacrosse Teams Were Runners-Up, Not Losers

When we think of great championship games, the lingering memories are of the conquerors, those who raised their game and were rewarded with a trophy for their services.

In a condensed playoff week in several sports because of an aberrant year in which they followed rather than preceded Memorial Day weekend, the names JT Morin and Mariah Matheis were etched in FCIAC lore, as were their teams.

Morin pitched a game for the ages in the baseball final Friday night, allowing just two hits and striking out 12 in an eight-inning complete-game effort that resulted in Wilton winning its first league title in 20 years, 1-0 over Staples.

Just over 24 hours earlier, Matheis put the exclamation point on a tremendous comeback as the Darien girls lacrosse team overcame a four-goal second-half deficit to win its fourth straight conference championship with a 13-12 win over New Canaan in triple overtime.