Hounds, Hawks to meet in NVL championship


Editor’s note: The start of the NVL title game has been moved up to 5:30 p.m. 

By Republican-American

SEYMOUR — The two top seeds will meet in the NVL softball championship game.

No. 1 Woodland and No. 2 Naugatuck will vie for the title at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Naugatuck High.

The Hawks scored four runs in the third and seven in the fourth en route to a 16-6 victory over No. 4 Seymour in the semifinals May 24 at Seymour High.

Seymour scored two runs over the first two innings to take the early lead.

“I did get a little nervous, I’m not going to lie,” Woodland pitcher Sammy Sosnovich said. “But I knew that our bats would come alive and we would step it up and we would be fine.”

Down 2-0 in the third, Woodland (20-0) started the rally with bloop singles by May Dawes and Sosnovich, followed by a walk to Kylie Bulinski. The first two runs scored on ground balls that never left the infield, then Cassidy Dorion hit a two-run single to give the Hawks a lead they would not relinquish.

The big hits followed an inning later. Bulinski launched a three-run home run and Rory Nolan hit a bases-clearing double to the centerfield wall and all of a sudden Woodland led 11-2 after four.

“It felt good coming off my bat,” Bulinski said.

Bulinski finished with two home runs, four runs and four RBI. Nolan drove in four runs and scored twice.

Woodland coach Loren Luddy was confident the bats would come alive eventually.

“I knew they were confident they could hit this pitcher (Lifrieri), I knew we needed a couple of breaks like a couple to fall in, and they did, to really get the confidence built,” she said. “We knew we would hit, but for 16 runs I wasn’t so sure. But I knew we would hit.”

Naugatuck made it 14 wins in a row — 15 counting a forfeit — with a 6-3 win over No. 3 Wolcott in the semifinals.

“The fact that we made it to the final is so exciting,” said Naugatuck pitcher Alyssa Roberts, who described her team as hungry. “I have wanted it for years, especially after losing last year. We came into the season wanting to get into the final and that is what we did. I am very proud of every single one of us.”

Third baseman Samantha Mullin led things off with a double and scored on a wild pitch in a two-run first inning for Naugatuck.

Abby Wrinn scored on a wild pitch in the top of the second for the Eagles.

In the bottom of the fourth, Mullin’s single pushed across two runs during a three-run inning to give Naugatuck (17-3) a 5-1 edge.

“My team was cheering for me. It felt good,” Mullin said. “We all rally around each other. It’s not just me that got those runs in. They had to get on first.”

Wolcott (16-4) cut the deficit to 5-3 in the next frame.

Mullin added an insurance run in the sixth, coming around to score from second while a teammate was caught in a rundown.

“Samantha is always clutch and into the game,” Naugatuck coach Kevin Wesche said. “She is a student of the game and she just keeps plugging along. That is why she is a captain.”

Woodland and Naugatuck met once during the regular season, an 8-6 Hawks’ win on April 24. That was the last time the Greyhounds lost a game.

“We are hungry,” Roberts said. “We are very, very hungry. We want that final.”

Naugatuck’s Andrew Tszyka pitches against Holy Cross High during the NVL baseball semifinals at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury on May 24. -STEVEN VALENTI/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

ON THE BASEBALL DIAMOND, No. 7 Naugatuck lost to No. 3 Holy Cross, 6-1, May 24 in the semifinals at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury.

Holy Cross’ Logan Bessette’s pitched a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts. Holy Cross scored five runs in the second inning and another run in the fifth.

Naugy scored its run in the third on an infield single by Justin Stone and three walks by Bessette, one of which forced in the run.