WATERBURY — The Naugatuck softball team needed a three-run rally in the top of the seventh on Monday to pull out a 5-3 win over the Kennedy Eagles to remain unbeaten at 3-0 on the season.
The Eagles took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth when DJ Alberto drove in Jillian Fitzgerald. Naugy junior pitcher Jenna Miller closed the door on the uprising as she scattered eight hits and struck out eight in the complete-game victory.
Gillian Fortier (two hits) led off the seventh with a single and came around to score the tying run on a double from Shannon Searles (two RBI). Sandra Dinis reached base and Miller (three hits) unloaded a two-run double, scoring Jessica Conover and Dinis to put Naugy on top 5-3.
In the bottom of the frame, Kennedy tried for a comeback of its own by getting a runner at first with two outs and the tying run coming to the plate. Jackie Aronin took off on a drive deep into the outfield and the diving catch saved the game for the Greyhounds.
“We are getting key hits and running the bases well,” Naugatuck coach Kevin Wesche said. “Our defense is making some big plays, but no play was bigger than Jackie’s diving catch that saved the game.”
Naugatuck jumped on top early, plating two runs in the first. Kara Klimaszewski (three hits) singled and scored on Searles’ hit to right. Erica Andreoli reached on a bunt single and wound up scoring on a passed ball for a 2-0 lead.
Kennedy struck for a pair of runs in the third when Yaixsa Vargas singled and Alberto unleashed a triple to get the Eagles on the board. Kerri Mastrantueno grounded out and Alberto came home with the tying run to make it 2-2.
“Kennedy is a tough team,” Wesche said. “They are solid defensively and they can put the ball in play. I’m happy with the start we’ve had but you just need to take it one game at a time.”
Naugatuck showed the ability to put the ball in play and play solid defense as it pulled out a 6-1 win over Ansonia last Friday. Fortier led the way with a home run, three hits, two runs and two RBI.
Jenna Massicotte, Sandra Marques and Katie Jaroneczyk all scored runs as Naugatuck plated runs in four of its six innings at the plate. Miller scattered seven hits in the complete-game effort.
“We are still a fairly young team,” Wesche said. “We came into the season needing to replace six starters. The team is coming along nicely and Jenna has been doing a good pitching job for us.”
The Greyhounds’ game versus Wolcott on Wednesday was postponed. Naugy will host Woodland on Thursday at 11 a.m. at Breen Field and hit the road to play Watertown on Monday.