Stamford softball beats Westhill in festive atmosphere in the Cove, despite the rain

Stamford's Sam Albert was 4-for-4 with a double, driving in four runs and scoring one.

Stamford's Sam Albert was 4-for-4 with a double, driving in four runs and scoring one.

Scott Ericson / Hearst Connecticut Media.

STAMFORD — With eight freshmen on the roster, many of the Stamford softball players were in the crowd last spring for the annual rivalry game against Westhill at Troy Field in Cove Island Park.

One of those freshman was pitcher Kaitlyn Fox, who settled in after battling some nerves early on, going the distance, striking out six and only allowing two hits for the win as Stamford defeated Westhill 14-2 in 5 innings.

Despite rain falling the entire game, the outfield fence was once again lined with youth softball players from Stamford cheering on their favorite school.

The game has become a tradition down at the Cove and even foul weather could not keep the young players away.

“It’s so awesome,” Stamford coach Melissa Giordano said. “It’s like a playoff atmosphere down here. Last year we had the same great experience and we were looking forward to it again this year. Some of our girls playing this year were actually spectators last year. It’s awesome seeing so many young players here, even in the rain. Seeing these big crowds, we can’t wait for them to come to high school and play in this game themselves.”

Longtime Westhill coach Tom Pia cracked a smile when asked about the crowd, despite taking the loss.

“The atmosphere is great,” Pia said. “There is nothing better. It’s a big deal. The weather was (crummy) otherwise they would have had a huge crowd tonight. It’s nice to see and it helps the program grow. They do a great job down here getting the field ready and making this a fun night for the fans. Wish we could have been better. You can’t make 15 mistakes in a game and not expect to get run-ruled.”

The win was important for Stamford beyond the city championship, as it moves the Black Knights to 8-9 and 6-6 in the FCIAC, keeping them alive in the FCIAC playoff race with three games to play.

The win moves the Black Knights into eighth place, half a game ahead of New Canaan and Norwalk who are both 6-7 in the league.

Stamford closes the season next week with games against Central, Staples and Greenwich.

New Canaan plays Norwalk on Monday.

Westhill fell to 5-111 and 4-8 in the FCIAC.

With Stamford missing two assistant coaches, former coach Tony Esposito was called back into duty Saturday night to help Giordano.

Esposito coached Stamford for over two decades, winning FCIAC Championships in 1995, 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2006 along with runner-up finishes in 2015 and 2016.

The pinnacle season for Esposito and the Black Knights was 2000 when they won both the FCIAC and Class LL state championships.

Stamford scored twice in the first, four times in the second, once in the third and six times in the fourth, breaking the game open.


Sam Albert, Stamford: The junior catcher was 4-for-4 with a double, driving in four runs and scoring one.


“It’s a mazing with both teams being from Stamford. A lot of people have come up in that program and it is really cool to see all the support. It really helps us,” Albert said. “Today was really a team effort. Everyone was hitting with two strikes and two outs. It is a great feeling.”; @EricsonSports


WESTHILL 110 00X X—2 2 0

STAMFORD 241 6XX X—14 13 0

Batteries: S—Kaitlyn Fox (W) and Sam Albert; W—Brianna Cardona (L) and Kirsten Hallinan