NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck softball team has squeezed more than a quarter of the season in just 11 calendar days, and it’s been a bit of a bumpy road.
“The impact of numerous games in a week takes its toll on the players’ focus especially if they need to be able to adjust without time to practice,” head coach Kevin Wesche said.
The Greyhounds played six games in those 11 days. On Monday, Naugatuck fell, 3-0, to Holy Cross to drop to 3-3 on the year.
In the loss to Holy Cross (6-0), Naugy recorded just two hits, both coming from senior and co-captain Jackie Aronin.
Wesche said that with so many games in a week, it is tough to make adjustments at the plate with the lack of practice time.
“Facing a variety of pitching styles and speeds is a challenge with a normal rotation of practice and game days,” Wesche said. “String three or four games in a row takes a great deal of discipline at the plate.”
The schedule has not only affected the players’ focus and possibly fatigue, but it has also been very strong. The three teams that beat the ‘Hounds so far are a combined 15-4.
In the two NVL losses (Naugy’s first loss was to Trumbull, an out-of-league opponent), the Greyhounds have only scored in two of the 18 innings, combining to hit the ball only 11 times in those innings.
Naugatuck dropped a tough loss to Watertown (4-2) in which the Indians took a 6-5 victory in the 11th inning with a walk-off.
Alex Langhans had a three-run home run and Mckenzi Staples added a double to pace the Greyhounds’ offense against Watertown.
Naugatuck posted a pair of wins around the Watertown game, a 15-0 win over Crosby April 13 and a 7-3 win over Oxford April 15.
Jenna Massicotte had four hits, three RBI and scored four runs versus Crosby. Aronin added four hits and four runs of her own.
Jess Conover pitched a complete game nine-hitter with four strikeouts and no walks against Oxford. Staples had a single, double, two RBI and scored two runs in the game.
Despite the tough losses Naugatuck has suffered, Wesche said his team has learned that they could make some simple improvements both offensively and defensively.
“The team learned the importance of executing plays when opportunity knocks,” Wesche said. “Getting a bunt down on offense, getting the lead runner or hitting the cut off on defense.”
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Naugatuck. The Greyhounds visit Seymour on Wednesday, followed by home games versus St. Paul on Friday, Woodland on Saturday and Kennedy next Monday.
Wesche said his team will continue to play hard and make no excuses.
“This year we were able to get in five of our six scrimmages before Mother Nature postponed our first four regular season games,” Wesche said. “Now we need to bunch them together, stay focused and adjust to a tighter schedule.”