Coed Softball League brings out the best
Not sure how free agency is decided in Shelton’s Adult Softball Leagues, but if there is a player out there looking for a new home to show off their skills and have fun doing it then joining either Czecho Club or Shenanigans would be a smart move.
Czecho Club scored the first five runs and then held off multiple rallies by Shenanigans to post a 10-5 victory in Coed League action at East Village Park on Tuesday night.
“I was playing in the men’s league and then Kelly Orazietti, our manager, asked me to join her coed team,” Czecho Club coach B. J. Schmitt said. “The nucleus of the team has been together four or five years. A lot of us grew up together in Shelton. It’s about friendship. I’ve invited some new players to the team and ….”
At this point, Schmitt was interrupted by multiple teammates regarding who invited whom to join the team. This is part of the magic — the running jokes from bench area to the batter’s box. The give-and-take doesn’t diminish the competitive nature displayed between the foul lines, it only makes it more electric.
“We’ve played fall ball and in the spring for a long time,” Shenanigans’ Deb Frouge said. “We are a self-sponsored team now. We all like to compete. I’ve been playing for a long time (was it 25 or 48 as suggested by Schmitt when throwing her a pitch in the third inning) here and in Bridgeport.”
The rivals put five women and five men on to the diamond, and it was game on, with catchers’ Nora Anderson for Czecho and Jess Peterson for Shenanigans looking to cajole strike calls at the plate.
Czecho Club’s keystone combo of Kellie Burke and Mike Osso turned double plays to derail Shenanigan rallies in each of the first three inning. Burke started the first two with a sure glove at second base. Osso made the toss from shortstop to Burke in the third frame, with Courtney Hill at first snapping up the relay.
Mike DiCocco singled in two runs in the home first. Osso and Steve Daddio collected the other RBIs for a 4-0 lead.
Andrew Sinbaldo, Burke and Osso had consecutive singles to take the score to 5-0 to start the second. Shenanigan’s Trish Bogen, Barry LaBarre and Kaley Kempf made outstanding defensive plays here to limit the damage.
Shenanigans scored three runs in the top of the fourth.
Allan McDaniel singled to start the rally, before Osso and Burke stepped in. Osso made a rolling stop on Jess Zuccalmaglio’s shot to the left side. While tumbling, he got the ball to Burke, who kept her foot on the bag for the force with McDaniel on top of her.
Ton Kelly restarted the inning with a double to left, with Zuccalmaglio sliding into third ahead of Mike DiCocco’s tag. Kaley Kempf singled for one run and Johnny Nunez’ base hit knocked in a pair.
With Sinbaldo on second and Hill on first in the bottom of the fourth, Daddio ripped a single. With a great jump Sinbaldo came around to score. Bonnie DiCocco added a single before Travis Teta plated the next two for an 8-3 advantage.
Czecho’s Lauren Botsford stole a hit away from McDaniel to open the fifth and Osso made an outstanding diving catch to his left on Frouge to end the inning.
Osso, who challenged the right field fence — and Shenanigan’s Dan Ruggerio on right-center field with mixed results thus far— doubled the ball to dead right for a double in the fifth. Hill and Daddio kept the two-run rally going.
Down 10-3, Shenanigans got the two runs back in the sixth.
Bill Kempf doubled to left, and with one out, drew an errant throw with aggressive base running on McDaniel’s hit to the right side. He was awarded home plate and Kelly’s single accounted for another run.
Jen Nutniewski singled for her third hit in the seventh before Czecho Club turned its fourth double play, this time with Teta in the circle making the play before Burke turned the twin-killing.
LaBarre and Bogen had base hits to keep hopes alive, but Teta got a fly ball out to Sinbaldo in right to secure the win.
“II love being with these guys,” said Kutniewski, who earned honors and adjustable knee braces while starring in basketball, volleyball and softball at O’Brien Tech. “It’s fun to stay active and we all like to compete.”
Czecho Club improved to 9-1 on the season. Shenanigans is 2-5.
“We all play in one division,” Schmitt said. “The top four finishers will meet after the regular season, for I guess the A Division title. The next four teams will play for the B Division. We’ve won a few championships and were runners-up a few times (including Downtown Danny O’s).”
Bogan said, “We’ve added a few players each season, including the two Jessica’s (Zuccalmaglio and Peterson, who chipped in with ‘We knew somebody that knows somebody’). We have two of the originals left. We love getting together.”
Rostered on Czecho Club are Kelly Orazietti, Travis Teta, Kellie Burke, Andrew Sinbaldo, Meg Tata, Courtney Hill, Bonnie DiCocco, Mike DiCocco, Mike Osso, Nora Anderson, Meg Tata, Steve Daddio, B.J. Schmitt, Lauren Botsford, Tom Ballero, Shannon Bertanza, Craig Chapman, Alicia Fernandez, Adam Rivers and Bonnie Videira-Dilocco.
Shenanigans’ is made up of manager Glen Tompkins, Christina Kelly, Kim Tompkins, Tom Kelly, Kalie Kempf, Allan McDaniel III, Johnny Nunez, Jen Nutkniewski, Deb Frouge, Ashley Lombardi, Barry LaBarre, Trish Bogen, Jeanette Veltri, Dan Ruggerio, Bill Kempf, Bill Nogen, Allan McDaniel, Jess Peterson, Jason Warman and Jessica Zuccarmaglio.