Greyhounds battling for spot in NVLs

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NAUGATUCK — The top six teams appear solidly in place for the Naugatuck Valley League softball tournament with a couple weeks to go in the regular season, while a handful of teams are battling it out for the final two spots.

The Greyhounds took a big step forward in their pursuit of one of the final spots by winning three of their last four to improve to 7-6 overall on the season.

“I thought we did a good job making plays in the field and putting the ball in play,” Naugatuck head coach Kevin Wesche said. “Up and down the lineup the girls are being aggressive at the plate and we are putting runs on the board.”

Naugy crushed Kennedy, 20-3, April 29 as the Greyhounds belted six home runs in the win.

Nadia Cestari led the hit parade with two home runs and in eight RBI. Jordyn Hunt went 4-for-4 with a home run, four RBI and four runs scored. Hailey Deitelbaum and Alyssa Roberts cracked home runs and drove in three runs each. Megan Schofield also hit a home run and scored three runs.

Naugatuck put some distance between the other challengers for a tourney spot with a convincing 15-0 win over Torrington April 30. The Greyhounds pounded out 17 hits and plated runs in every inning.

Samantha Mullin led the attack with three hits, including a double and a triple, and three RBI. Roberts drove in four runs and Schofield scored three runs. Shannon Burns added a hit, a run and an RBI.

The Greyhounds hit a bump in the road May 1 in a 7-0 loss to Oxford, one of the top teams in the league. The game was the Greyhounds’ third in a stretch of four games in four days.

“These girls are used to playing four games in a day over the summer travel ball season,” Wesche said. “So, playing four games in back-to-back weeks is not the challenge. The challenge is facing a team like Oxford. They are a very good team. … We need to continue to put ourselves in a position to compete.”

The Greyhounds wasted no time getting back to the task at hand as they handled Watertown, 9-3, May 2. Watertown grabbed a 3-2 lead in the third on the strength of a home run from Brianna Catalani. The lead was short-lived as Naugy scored four runs in the fourth inning and then tacked on runs over the next three frames to put the game away.

Roberts scattered eight hits in the pitcher’s circle as the defense backed her up. Burns took away just about everything on the right side, making four putouts at first base. Schofield threw a strike from centerfield to catcher Kendall Allen to cut down a run at home plate.

Cestari continued to swing a hot bat, belting three doubles, driving in three runs and scoring twice. Deitelbaum added three hits and a run scored. Felicia Salvati added a hit and a run, and Schofield scored two runs and drove in a run.

The Greyhounds kick off another stretch of four games in four days Monday at Derby, followed by games against Crosby, St. Paul and Torrington.