BEACON FALLS — Woodland dominated Wolcott from every angle on the softball diamond Monday afternoon in Beacon Falls.
The Hawks cracked 10 hits and scored in every inning, Samantha Lee spun a one-hit shutout and struck out 10, and Woodland beat the Eagles 13-0 in Naugatuck Valley League Brass Division competition.
Lee was among the day’s stars for Woodland (4-0). She took a no-hitter into the sixth, when Kayla DePara blooped a two-out infield single just in front of second base for the Eagles’ only hit.
“It’s always annoying when you get so far into the game and it ends on a blooper, but what are you gonna do?” Lee said with a laugh.
The senior right-hander struck out 10, including the side in the third and fourth, and allowed only four baserunners. She walked two and allowed one other batter to reach on an error.
“She did a great job,” Woodland coach Loren Luddy said. “Last year we lost to them on their senior night due to some miscommunication and pitches that didn’t work the way we wanted, so I think the girls remembered that.”
Lee mixed a knee-buckling changeup with a solid fastball to keep the Wolcott hitters off balance. The only runner to get past first base was gunned out at home on a throw by first baseman Brianna Pacileo to catcher Rachel Starkey.
“My changeup has always been a big part of my game because I’ve never been a very fast pitcher, so the changeup was what I focused on,” Lee said. “It’s been working really well.”
She enjoyed all the run support for which she could have asked. The Hawks scored single runs in each of the first three innings before exploding for four in the fourth, two in the fifth and four in the sixth.
Rachel Starkey cracked a three-run homer to left in the sixth. She added an RBI infield single in the fourth and another single in the second. Lee knocked a two-run single in the fourth for Woodland’s other big hit of the day.
The Hawks executed a double steal of second and home by Cameron Caswell and Natalie Veneri in the third inning. Woodland also benefitted from nine Wolcott errors.
Brianna Pacileo singled and scored three runs, Veneri singled and scored twice, and Caswell singled and scored. Sam White singled and scored, Alyssa Amarosa tripled and scored and Carla Piccolo had two singles and a run.
Luddy said her team came out swinging from the get-go and established confidence at the plate from the first inning.
“When you start hitting line drives in the first inning, it sets the tone,” Luddy said. “Even though a few were lineouts, it gives the hitters confidence.”
The Hawks are off to a perfect start with four wins in convincing fashion. Woodland has defeated Sacred Heart (10-3 on April 9), Crosby (18-2 last Friday) and New Canaan (8-0 last Saturday) with the Naugatuck Valley League’s major contenders still to come.
“I’m happy with the start, but there’s a long road ahead,” Luddy said.
Woodland’s game Wednesday against Ansonia was postponed. The Hawks will visit Naugatuck on Thursday at 11 a.m. at Breen Field before a crucial week against three of the NVL’s best. Woodland will host Holy Cross on Monday and Watertown on April 23 before visiting Seymour on April 25.