Greyhounds red hot heading into postseason

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NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck softball team is getting hot at the right time.

The ‘Hounds have won seven of eight and stand at 12-6. Naugy will wrap up its season with two home games scheduled for this week—against Holy Cross and Kennedy—whenever rain lets up.

Naugy will almost certainly be a part of the Naugatuck Valley League tournament, which invites the top eight finishers of the conference. The tournament is scheduled to begin Saturday in Wolcott, but will likely be moved due to this week’s weather.

On Monday, Naugatuck won two lopsided games against Wilby. Even though Wilby entered play on Monday with a 2-15 mark, Naugy head coach Kevin Wesche was pleased with his team’s effort and did not take the wins for granted.

“We executed everything we had to do,” Wesche said.

The coach was referring to the plate as well as the field. Naugatuck won the first game 15-0, and took the nightcap 22-1.

In game one, Alexa Marucci pitched to contact and only struck out two hitters. Her fielders did the rest in an errorless effort.

“Alexa does a good job of keeping the ball around the plate and keeping hitters off-balanced,” Wesche said.

Sarah Chandler, Naugy’s sophomore shortstop, had three hits, scored three runs and added an RBI in game one. Chandler, and Melissa LaBonte have been the team’s table-setters throughout the year at the top of the order.

Melissa Kirschbaum, the team’s left fielder, had six hits, five RBI and five runs in the doubleheader. Lianne Wallace had five hits and five RBI in the two games.

Gillian Fortier, who leads the NVL with eight homers, had two hits, three RBI and two runs in game two.

Molly Fallon had two hits and three RBI in game two. Fallon, along with Vicki Louth, Joelle Louth and Erica Bohuski, have produced in recent weeks and filled in for injured players.

“We’ve had several inexperienced players step up,” Wesche said.

The Greyhounds one loss over the last eight games came last week to Seymour—a 10-1 defeat. The score may be deceiving.
Naugy took an early lead after LaBonte’s leadoff triple. Seymour tied the game in the third before Steph Burt broke the stalemate with a two-run shot in the fourth for the Wildcats, who scored one more run in the inning and five more in the fifth.

After the loss, Wesche gave the team a couple days off and had a light practice on Sunday. The team responded with two wins on Monday. As the team continues to get healthy, it may be starting to click at the right time.

Whoever happens to be in the lineup on a given day, Wesche said he is happy with the effort.

“They come to play every day, and as coach, that’s all you can ask for,” Wesche said.