The Woodland baseball and softball teams are both one win away from playing for a Class M state championship.
No. 3 Woodland defeated No. 11 Bacon Academy, 10-3, in the Class M baseball quarterfinals June 5 in Beacon Falls.
Woodland (21-2) will play No. 2 Northwestern (22-1) in a semifinal June 8 at 3:30 p.m. at Muzzy Field in Bristol.
Woodland’s Zach Drewry went 4-for-4 against Bacon Academy. He singled twice, doubled and hit his fourth home run in three state tournament games. He drove in four runs and scored four runs. The cleanup hitter and first baseman is 9-for-11 and has three doubles and one triple to go along with four homers, nine RBI and eight runs scored in his first three tournament games.
Drewry had four of Woodland’s 15 hits June 5. Michael Belcher, the winning pitcher, also had two hits and two RBI. Jayden Tomasella, Ryan Montini, Matt Belcher and Tyler Giambra each added two hits for the Hawks.
On the mound, Michael Belcher took the ball for another big game and was able to work his way through some difficulties (4 2/3 innings, 109 pitches, two hits, three runs, one earned run, seven strikeouts, four walks, one hit batter).
“Every good team on the schedule that we played this year, Michael Belcher pitched,” coach Steve Bainer said. “Sometimes we do forget that he’s a freshman because when he’s cruising, he’s great. Sometimes there’s things where his age does show.”
In softball, the No. 1 Hawks beat Naugatuck Valley League rival and No. 8 Wolcott, 4-1, in the Class M quarterfinals June 5 in Beacon Falls.
Woodland (23-0) advanced to play No. 5 North Branford in the semifinals June 7 at 4 p.m. at Biondi Field in West Haven.
Woodland hitting standout Kylie Bulinski didn’t get an opportunity to produce in the clutch against Wolcott (19-5) as the junior catcher was walked three times, including an intentional walk in the first inning.
Not to worry, though.
Bulinski’s teammate, Riley Kane, followed with RBI hits in the first and third innings to lead the Hawks.
“Kiley really came through for us,” Bulinski said. “She’s had big hits for us the entire season.”
Woodland sophomore ace Samantha Sosnovich, who outdueled Wolcott sophomore Sophia Gugliotti, came through on the mound, allowing only four hits and striking out just one.
“Sophia pitched a great game, and Wolcott is a great team,” Sosnovich said.
Kane’s RBI single scored Bulinski in the first inning, and her single in the third scored Isabella Kraemer for a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Bulinski walked and Kane reached on an error. Emily Beyer followed with a bunt to the first-base side, scoring Bulinski. Kane then scored on a fielder’s choice.
Naugatuck falls in Class L quarterfinals: No. 10 Naugatuck fell to No. 2 St. Joseph, 9-0, in the Class L softball quarterfinals June 4 in Trumbull.
After the start of the game was moved up 45 minutes to 3:15 p.m. to avoid possible thunderstorms, Naugatuck senior pitcher Alyssa Roberts nearly escaped an early jam, working a full count with two runners on and two out in the bottom of the second. But Madison Fitzgerald socked a three-run homer to give the Cadets (21-1) a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. A six-run sixth inning put the game away for good.
Naugatuck (18-5) was held off the bases until Felicia Salvati’s infield hit in the fifth. Lauryn Ramalho followed with a single and Aryn Bomberry nearly tied the game, but her blast to deep left fell just short of the fence. Samantha Mullin added a hit in the sixth.
Roberts knew the Greyhounds would be in for a tough matchup.
“Honestly the hardest thing about this is the fact that we hit the ball,” Roberts said. “We hit the ball right at them, every single at-bat. We only struck out three times. We were not getting those lucky (breaks). Three feet left or three feet right it’s a totally different game.”
While Naugatuck was hoping its season would continue, coach Kevin Wesche is proud of the way his team was able to rally after dropping three of its first five games.
“They made a lot of noise in the state and got a lot of recognition,” Wesche said. “When you start the season at 2-3, people start to look by you. That is when we started to get stronger, more competitive and hitting the ball. We don’t strike out a lot, we just happen to hit them at people. It gives them something to carry into their next season.”