Naugy softball advances in Class M, Woodland baseball falls in second round
Naugatuck softball coach Kevin Wesche knows how nice it is to have a leadoff hitter who gets on base almost every time she steps to the plate.
Julia Pelliccia’s hot bat atop the No. 12-seeded Greyhounds’ lineup led Naugy to a pair of victories in the Class L state tournament, including a 4-2 upset of No. 5 Windsor Wednesday, to earn a quarterfinal berth.
Pelliccia notched six hits in those two victories, including a four-hit performance after the long bus ride to Windsor. She also scored a run against the Warriors to help Naugatuck (15-8) advance to the quarterfinals against No. 13 Jonathan Law, a game that’s set for Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Naugatuck High.
“Julia Pelliccia was doing her usual thing,” Wesche said. “She’s our leadoff batter and she’s been batting about .700 in the postseason. She gets on and we’re able to get her over by bunting. The people in the (Nos.) 3, 4, 5 spots are doing a great job of getting her in.”
Hailey Deitelbaum had three hits, an RBI, and a run, while Megan Schofield added a two-run triple and a run against Windsor. Aryana Powell also had two hits. The offensive effort supported Alyssa Roberts, who tossed a five-hitter with five strikeouts.
Naugatuck’s run in the first two rounds of the state tournament came after an early exit in the Naugatuck Valley League tournament last month. Wesche said the Greyhounds bounced back from that disappointing defeat to St. Paul by playing better defense and getting the ball in play.
“We just had to minimize our errors,” Wesche said. “We had to capitalize upon our ability to put the ball in play. We only have three seniors in our starting lineup. It’s almost like it depends upon the day. Some days we’re all on the same page and don’t get flustered by mistakes. When they keep their focus, these girls have been doing a great job.”
The winner of Friday’s quarterfinal will advance to the semifinals early next week. The state championships are scheduled for next weekend.
Woodland baseball ousted: Two swings of the bat ended a promising postseason for the Woodland baseball team.
Lewis Mills’ Sam Buchanan uncorked a grand slam and Darren Janssens added the game-winning RBI double in the fifth inning as the No. 10-seeded Spartans upended No. 7 Woodland, 5-4, in a Class M second-round game Wednesday.
Buchanan’s grand slam came after a controversial call earlier in the inning that Woodland (16-7) felt should have been a foul ball. Instead, the fair-ball call extended the inning and allowed Buchanan the opportunity to give Mills the lead for good.
Justin Butterworth hit a leadoff homer in the first inning for the Hawks. Jason Claiborn had two hits and an RBI, and Justin Marks added two hits. Matt Szturma started the game for Woodland and younger brother Mike allowed one run and two hits in four innings of relief.