Greyhounds building confidence; Hawks rolling along

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By Kyle Brennan, Citizen’s News

Naugatuck’s Alyssa Roberts pitches against Watertown on April 22 at Naugatuck High School. Roberts struck out 11 batters in the game. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

After missing last season and having a couple of games at the start of this spring postponed, Naugatuck softball pitcher Alyssa Roberts is thrilled to be back on the field — and tossing more gems.

Roberts and the Greyhounds finally got back onto the field last week and split games against Seymour and Watertown. Naugy lost to the Wildcats, 11-4, on April 20, before shutting out the Indians, 14-0, on April 22.

“After coming off not getting a season last year, it was really frustrating having games cancelled,” Roberts said. “Finally getting out there was exciting for all of us.”

In the win over Watertown, Roberts allowed five hits and two walks while striking out 11 in a complete-game effort, and she added three hits and an RBI. Aryn Bombery supported Roberts with a grand slam, while Kendall Allen and Felicia Salvati had three hits and two RBI apiece. Nadia Cestari chipped in with a double, a triple, two RBI and three runs.

Bombery and Lauryn Ramahlo also had two hits each in the 11-4 loss to Seymour, which is one of the league’s championship favorites, as always.

“We finally hit the ball like I know we can,” Roberts said. “Coming off a slow start like this, we started off a little unsure of ourselves in our second game against Seymour, but this game against Watertown, we got that confidence back.”

Naugy is set for a busy schedule over the final month of the regular season with 15 games scheduled in 28 days. The ‘Hounds are set to visit Woodland in a rivalry game April 24, one of many games in a busy couple of weeks to come.

As a senior who is essentially mentoring two classes of rookies, Roberts said her goal will be making sure the younger players know they belong on the varsity field.

Naugatuck’s Nadia Cestari fields a ground ball at second before throwing to first for an out against Watertown on April 22 at Naugatuck High School. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

“I’ve just been trying to give these girls the confidence they should have,” Roberts said. “We have a sophomore and two freshmen starters, and they need to have that confidence out there. As a leader, my job that I’m taking on is that I want them to know I have trust in them, and I want them to trust in me.”

Woodland still rolling: The Hawks continued their hot start by running up a 5-0 record and outscoring their opposition, 95-7. Four of those five games were five-inning mercy-rule victories.

In a 27-1 win over Crosby on April 16, Sam Sosnovich hit a three-run homer, while Samantha Benanto struck out five in three innings of work.

Three days later, Woodland routed Derby, 19-1. Cassidy Doiron cracked a two-run homer, and Kylie Bulinski added two hits and three RBI.

After a relatively light opening few weeks, the Hawks’ schedule is set to ramp up starting April 23 at Oxford. The next set of opponents include Naugatuck on April 24, Torrington on April 28, Seymour on April 30 and Holy Cross on May 5.