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Darien Downs Greenwich, Wins Youth Softball Crown

DARIEN, Conn. -- Darien Ring's End Lumber came out on top in a wild title game to defeat Greenwich, 14-11, in the first-ever Division One Little League softball tournament of champions. In a back-and-forth affair at Buck Rodgers Field in Darien, Lexi Lopiano gutted through a complete game effort on the mound for Darien. Lopiano struck out the last two batters of the game to clinch the title for her team.

"It was a tough game, but we played really hard and tried our best and we got the win," Lopiano said. "It's amazing to win the championship. That's how we roll."

After a crisp first inning, pitching and fielding got a little wild for the rest of the game. Darien jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second thanks to a plethora of wild pitches by Sam Calicchio. Greenwich stormed right back, however, taking a 6-5 lead in the third when Lopiano also struggled with control.

Darien would not give in though, and took the lead for good in the fourth. Lopiano ripped a two-run double to give Darien a 10-6 lead. Greenwich mounted a comeback and pulled within one run, but Julia Gambino singled in two crucial insurance runs for Darien.

Greenwich managed to load the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the sixth and scored twice. With the tying run on first, Lopiano dug deep to get the final three outs and secure the inaugural championship for Darien.

The District One Little League softball tournament of champions includes the best teams from Darien, Greenwich, Rowayton, Wilton, Ridgefield, Redding-Easton and Danbury. Darien beat Rowayton and Ridgefield to get to the title game.

The Division One Champion Ring's End Lumber lineup includes: Lexi Lopiano, Hannah Lopiano, Meagan Rayhill, Julia Ford, Mia Dursht, Becca Maroney, Katherine Eddie, Erika Lowman, Gracie Killian and Brittany Pierce. Darien is coached by Chris and Dave Lopiano. Not pictured are Cassie Lopiano, Katherine Nusslein and Megan Dunn. The girls are 11, 12, and 13 years old.

Follow Eric Gendron on Twitter for the latest MSC-Fairfield County sports coverage.

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