Tough stretch trips up Hawks

Woodland softball bounces back with consecutive wins

SEYMOUR — Facing two of the Naugatuck Valley League’s top three softball teams in the same week yielded the first two blemishes for the Woodland girls.

After suffering their first loss April 21 to Holy Cross, the Hawks suffered a 12-1 shellacking at the hands of perennial powerhouse Seymour last Friday afternoon.

The Wildcats pounded 17 hits and Raeanne Geffert spun a five-hitter in the rout. Woodland didn’t help its own cause by committing six errors and making pitcher Samantha Lee elevate her pitch count in the early going.

“For some reason, the Seymour name makes you nervous,” Woodland coach Loren Luddy said. “When you’re nervous, you don’t make the plays you can make.”

The Hawks didn’t make some of the plays, but the Wildcats made plenty. Seymour’s strengths appeared everywhere, especially in the lineup. Eight of the nine starters recorded at least one hit, and seven of the nine scored.

After taking a 2-0 lead in the third inning, Seymour blew open the game with a six-run fifth. The Wildcats sent 11 batters to the plate and notched five hits, including a three-run bomb to deep left field by Emma Crocamo. It was the first homer of the junior’s high school career, and it gave Seymour an 8-0 lead.

“I don’t usually hit a lot of home runs,” said Crocamo, who reached base in three of her four at-bats. “It felt really good to hit one. This really helps me get my confidence up, because now I know I can hit against any pitcher.”

Geffert and Amanda Harkins had RBI singles in the fifth, and Cassie Rosetti looped an RBI double down the right field line. It all came off Samantha Lee, who struck out two.

“We made early errors, which made our pitcher throw way too many pitches,” Luddy said. “When you throw that many pitches against Seymour, they’re going to hit it. Just too many mistakes.”

Woodland committed one error in the first and three in the third. Both of Seymour’s third-inning runs, scored by Katie Petroski and Shari Minalga, came with help from those miscues.

The Hawks added errors in the fourth and fifth to finish with an uncharacteristic six for the game.

Woodland’s run came in the sixth, when Natalie Veneri drew a one-out walk and came around to score on Rachel Starkey’s single to center.
Starkey was 2-for-3, while Lee added a double. Alyssa Amarosa and Carla Piccolo added the other hits for the Hawks, who were playing their first game back at full strength with Sam White recovered from a concussion.

“We’ve had some people in and out,” Luddy said.

Woodland bounced back with a solid start to this week, notching a pair of shutout victories.

The Hawks buried Wilby 15-0 on Monday as Lee and Steph Kiley combined to hurl a one-hitter with nine strikeouts. White had two hits, two RBI and two runs, while Emily Brouillette notched two hits, three runs and an RBI. Piccolo also had two hits, an RBI and a run.

Woodland also blanked Ansonia 8-0 on Tuesday. Piccolo homered, had two singles and three RBI to support Lee’s three-hitter and eight strikeouts. Brianna Pacileo finished a home run short of the cycle and added two RBI and two runs, Cameron Caswell had three hits and Lee chipped in with two hits and an RBI.

The Hawks (8-2) will visit St. Paul on Friday and host Derby on Saturday. Woodland will host Kennedy on Monday before visiting defending Naugatuck Valley League champion and undefeated Torrington on May 7.

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