Commentary: Retirement Creates Big Void For Esposito — And Stamford Softball Team

One of the most senseless phone calls of my sportswriting career took place on June 7. It was the day before the Stamford softball team played Trumbull in the Class LL semifinal. I had known for weeks that Black Knights coach Tony Esposito planned to announce at the end of the season that he would be retiring, but was asked to keep the news a secret so he didn’t become the story and take the spotlight from his players.


Commentary: With FCIAC Title, Darien’s Barbour Ends High School Career Feeling Complete

Sophia Barbour is savoring the final days playing this summer with the Connecticut Angels travel softball team. There is one more tournament remaining, then she is taking a trip to Spain before beginning her freshman year at Penn State.

Barbour is uncertain about her future with the sport — it is possible her final competitive game is imminent. Barbour thinks she will play college club ball and, because of her age, would be eligible to play one more season with the Angels.


Seventh-Inning Home Runs Carry Trumbull To 3-0 Class LL Semifinal Win Over Stamford

STRATFORD – The way Trumbull’s Ally Szabo was pitching in today’s Class LL semifinal, second-guessing Stamford coach Tony Esposito’s decision to call for softball’s riskiest play in a scoreless game in the bottom of the sixth would be illogical.

The Black Knights had just collected their first hit off Szabo, a triple by Lauren O’Neill, to lead off the sixth. They had their best bunter, Sara Staley, at the plate. They had their fastest runner on third with no outs. There is no perfect time for a suicide squeeze play, but this situation was certainly close to it.


FCIAC Softball Tournament: Westhill’s Laccona Seeks Elusive Title

STAMFORD — Gabby Laccona’s arrival at Westhill High School four years ago was in many respects rather typical — if you are an elite athlete who has earned distinction and created a buzz at the youth level.

Laccona was trumpeted as the next great player in the Vikings’ rich softball history. It is a burden to put on a freshman, and Laccona said she was oblivious to the hype.


Stamford Shows Grit In 4-3 Win Over Fairfield Warde

FAIRFIELD — There were 11 strikeouts, four errors and a number of negatives that could have led the Stamford softball team today to become the second contender from its home city to lose to Fairfield Warde in five days.

But with one exception, the Black Knights have been able to summon the resolve and find different veterans to step up and overcome their lapses to remain atop the FCIAC standings.