NAUGATUCK — The Greyhounds pulled victory from the jaws of defeat Monday afternoon.
Naugatuck headed into the seventh inning holding a 5-2 advantage over Wolcott. The Eagles rallied with four runs in the top of the inning to take a surprising 6-5 lead. The score was knotted at 6 in the bottom of the seventh when senior co-captain Jenna Massicotte hit a one-out single to left field to score Mckenzi Staplesand give Naugy the 7-6 win.
“I never doubted my team,” Massicotte said. “I was looking for a low inside pitch and it was a great feeling seeing it go into the outfield. It felt like a weight off my shoulders.”
The Greyhounds (1-1) got on the board quickly when senior co-captain Jackie Aronin (3 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBI) led off Naugatuck’s first at bat with a home run over the centerfield wall.
“Certainly a great way to start my senior year hitting a home run in our first game at home,” Aronin said. “We needed this one after a tough loss down in Trumbull.”
Olivia Rotatori sent a run-scoring double into the right field corner to up the advantage at 2-0 but ending the inning trying to stretch it to three bases.
Naugatuck went up 3-0 in the second inning when Molly Kennedy singled and Alyssa Barry reached base after getting hit with a pitch. Aronin drove in a run on a single to left.
Taya Diaz singled in the third as Naugy tried to extend the lead. But Wolcott changed pitchers and Nicole Antonowicz shut down the Greyhounds over the next three innings.
The Eagles trailed 3-0 as Naugatuck’s Jess Conover pitched five shutout innings surrendering just three hits before Wolcott struck in the top of the sixth inning.
Rene Miller and Alexis Boyce sent run-scoring doubles to the fence in right center field as the Eagles closed the gap to 3-2.
Naugatuck wasted no time in getting those runs right back as Alex Langhans unloaded a two-run homer to make it a 5-2 lead. Katie Jaronecyzk ripped a two-out double to try and keep it going before Wolcott got out of the inning.
“We have quite a few hitters on this team,” Langhans said. “Jess pitched a great game for us and it was our turn to help her out with the bats.”
Conover surrendered a single in the top of the seventh before the defense came up with two outs. With two strikes on the next batter Naugy was just one strike away from victory.
Wolcott’s Marissa Morales sent one over the centerfield fence for a two-run homer to trim the deficit at 5-4. A pair of infield hits had Wolcott in rally mode and when Boyce hit a two-strike single to center field the game was tied at 5-5.
Naugatuck head coach Kevin Wesche gathered the team around in the pitcher’s circle during a timeout to rally the team and the next Wolcott batter hit one toward shortstop that hit the runner’s foot. The umpire didn’t make the call as the go-ahead run crossed the plate.
Massicotte (10 assists) fielded a ball in the hole at shortstop to retire the side with Naugy chasing one run heading into their final at bat.
Aronin led off with a single down the right field line and then stole second base. Staples reached on an error and moved to second on a wild pitch as Aronin raced home with the tying run. Massicotte drove a pitch over the shortstop into left field, and as Staples came home with the game-winning run the ‘Hounds poured out of the dugout in celebration.
“We were able to put the ball in play and make some things happen,” Wesche said. “To win a game like this is certainly a confidence-builder going into the rest of the season. Especially since we are such a young team.”
Naugatuck turned the page after starting the season last Friday with a 3-2 loss to Trumbull. Aronin scored both runs of hits from Massicotte. Trumbull scored two runs in the sixth to pull out the win.
Naugy will play three games in three days this week starting with Crosby on Wednesday, followed by Watertown on Thursday and Oxford on Friday.