NAUGATUCK — After reaching the quarterfinals of the Class L state tournament for the first time since 2009, the Naugatuck softball team is looking to pick up where it left off last season.
What the Greyhounds will be looking to add to their resume is a longer run in the Naugatuck Valley League tournament, after getting knocked out in the first round last year by runner-up St. Paul.
The Greyhounds graduated All-NVL and All-State player Julia Pelliccia, who had 45 hits last season, and some key players in infielder Aryana Powell and outfielders Briana Tavares and Taylor Valentine.
Naugatuck does return All-NVL and All-State pitcher Alyssa Roberts, a sophomore, and seniors Hailey Deitelbaum (All-Iron), Alyssa Ulrich, Shannon Burns and Megan Schofield.
“Our senior leaders do a great job to build the character of the Naugatuck program,” Naugatuck head coach Kevin Wesche said. “The fire and desire and the will to win comes from hard work and the dedication to get better each and every day, and that is the example our seniors lend to the program.”
Junior Jordyn Hunt (All-Iron) along with sophomores Alyssa Hovey and Sam Valentine add a few more of the pieces it will take to put a winning team on the field.
“On top of the experience we have coming back we also have a solid core of very talented freshmen coming in to help us to achieve success this season,” Wesche said.
The coach is looking for solid contributions from catcher Kendall Allen, middle infielders Nadia Cestari, Felicia Salvati and corner infielder Samantha Mullin.
“We also have a strong supporting cast of sophomores, (including) Kayshla Diaz and Samantha Valentine,” Wesche added. “Once these girls get some varsity time and gain some experience, we expect some big contributions from them.”
Wesche will look to develop his younger players in the preseason.
“We have seven scrimmages against some strong teams and it will certainly present an opportunity to develop into the players that we know they can become,” Wesche said.
Naugy is scheduled to start the season next week with a home game versus Pomperaug on Monday. The Greyhounds will be at Wilby on Tuesday and Holy Cross next Friday.