Consistency crucial to improvement for ‘Hounds

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck softball team showed its capabilities early on with wins over Pomperaug and Kennedy to start the season. Last week showed the road to the top of the NVL will not be an easy trek as the Greyhounds saw a couple opportunities slip away

After dropping a heart-breaker to St. Paul, 12-11, last Sunday, Naugy came up on the short end of a 6-2 final to Wolcott last Wednesday.

“We are putting the ball in play but we are making miscues on the defensive end that has cost us,” Naugatuck head coach Kevin Wesche said. “We committed seven errors in the field against St. Paul in a game we could have won.”

Aryana Powell singled and drove in the two Naugatuck runs in the loss to Wolcott. Alyssa Ulrich added a double and a single, but errors had a play in the final outcome.

The Greyhounds salvaged the week last Friday with a 9-0 win over Torrington, a team they haven’t beaten in eight years.

Alyssa Roberts fired a complete game four-hit shutout with seven strikeouts versus Torrington. She added two doubles and a single to plate three runs for the Greyhounds.

“We went out and played a clean game defensively against Torrington,” Wesche said. “It has been quite a few years since we have beaten them and playing a sound defensive game certainly helped matters.

“Our bats came alive and we didn’t strand too many runners on base. Alyssa (Roberts) has been handling all of our duty in the pitcher’s circle as a freshman. She has been doing very well for us.”

Naugatuck was paced offensively by Hailey Deitelbaum with a double, a single and two RBI. Julia Pelliccia had two hits, two runs scored and two RBI, and Ulrich added two hits an RBI and two runs scored.

Powell added an RBI double, Meghan Schofield had a hit and two runs scored with Jordyn Hunt and Shannon Burns coming through with a hit and a run. Sara Mancuso also scored run for the Greyhounds.

Naugatuck improved to 4-2 on the season with a 5-3 win over Holy Cross on Wednesday. Jordyn Hunt had an RBI triple and scored a run. Ulrich and Shannon Burns added RBI hits for the Greyhounds.

Schofield doubled and scored, and Julia Pelliccia and Aryana Powell each singled and scored. Roberts allowed seven hits and struck out six.

Wesche said the team is showing improvement overall.

“I’m most impressed with our offense at this point,” he said. “We consistently are putting the ball in play and that always gives you a chance to compete.”

Wesche said the team’s three captains — Powell, Pelliccia and Deitelbaum — have been stepping up on and off the field to help the girls stay focused.

“I think we are coming around and doing the things we expect of them offensively and defensively,” Wesche said earlier this week. “We are starting to be productive and gaining some consistency. We have a tough week ahead of us but if we keep our focus we can be successful.”

The Greyhounds will finish the week with a double-header on Friday. Naugatuck will be at Kennedy for a 10:30 a.m. game and then head to Watertown for a 4 p.m. game.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated from the article that appears in the April 20 print edition of the Citizen’s News to include information on games played through April 18.