NAUGATUCK — The Greyhounds got off to a hot start last week versus Jonathan Law High School in the first round of the Class L softball tournament. However, they couldn’t hold on as Law took the 7-5 victory.
The ‘Hounds scored four runs, including a three-run home run by Shannon Searles, in the third inning. By the end of the top-half of the fourth, Naugy was up 5-1. The lead would not last.
Before the decisive sixth inning, Jenna Miller had given up just four hits. However, Law exploded for six runs in the sixth and went on to beat the Greyhounds.
Law had two big hits in the inning. The first was a line-drive single by Syler Bender off of Miller’s glove to tie the game at 5-5. Soon after, Kacy O’Connor came in with a pinch-hit, two-out single that drove in the game-winning runs.
Besides a Searles base hit in the seventh, 11 of Naugy’s final 12 batters did not reach base and their season reached an end.
Just as throughout the whole season, head coach Kevin Wesche was not disappointed with the effort that his team gave in the tough loss.
“I do not think the outcome of the game is what they expected,” said Wesche, whose team finished the year at 11-11. “As far as their effort and their execution, I was satisfied with what they gave.”
As Wesche now enters the offseason, he is going to have to start thinking about how he will replace six seniors, all starters, including two who have started since their freshman year (Kara Klimaszewski and Searles).
Klimaszewski finished the season batting .414 with 23 runs and 15 RBI. She also earned All-State and All-NVL honors. Searles easily led the team in RBI with 21. Sandra Dinis, perhaps the biggest surprise around the league, finished the year with 39 hits and an amazing .543 batting average. She received All-Iron division honors. Lauren Burns finished with an impressive .356 average and 17 RBI, Erika Andreoli finished with a .446 on-base-percentage and 19 runs, and Miller, Naugy’s number one pitcher, contributed immensely at the plate with a .553 batting average.
Wesche realizes it will be a tough chore to replace that kind of production.
“There are some huge cleats to fill in the future,” Wesche admitted. “A lot of hits, runs, and RBI’s for sure. It is sad, as a coach, to see them (the seniors) go. There are some huge, huge holes to fill.”
While Wesche knows that replacing these players will be a tough task, he has confidence in some of his returning players.
Some of those returning players include Jackie Aronin, who received All-Iron honors with a .352 batting average and 20 runs. Jenna Massicotte also returns after batting .442 in her junior year.
Wesche also has high expectations for Alex Langhans, who will look to fulfill the role of number one pitcher in her junior year.
“I do have high expectations for the returning players because they saw what it takes to be successful,” Wesche stated.