‘Hounds head into NVLs

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Naugatuck’s Jenna Massicotte gathers the ball before throwing to first for an out versus Woodland May 13 in Beacon Falls. Naugatuck won the game, 11-4. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Naugatuck’s Jenna Massicotte gathers the ball before throwing to first for an out versus Woodland May 13 in Beacon Falls. Naugatuck won the game, 11-4. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

NAUGATUCK — Tuesday was Clash For The Cure night at Naugatuck High School as the Greyhounds helped raise money for cancer research. It was also the softball team’s regular season finale as the Greyhounds took on Wolcott with playoff implications on the line. A win for Wolcott meant a state tournament berth. A win for the Greyhounds meant a possible higher seed in the NVL tournament.

The bats just couldn’t seem to come alive on Tuesday for the Greyhounds, who were scoreless heading into the last inning. Down 5-0, Naugy started to spark a bit of momentum. Jackie Aronin reached second base on an error, and an RBI single by Kara Klimaszewski soon followed. However, the next two batters put the ball in play, but couldn’t get on base, and the ‘Hounds fell, 5-1, to end the regular season at 11-9 (10-8 NVL).

Head coach Kevin Wesche knows that his team will have to hit better than Tuesday night if they want to come out of the NVL tourney with a championship trophy.

“I think we have to be a little bit smarter at bat,” Wesche said. “We have to make the opposing pitcher work a little harder and go deep in to the count. If we make them throw more strikes, I think we will have a better opportunity to win.”

The Greyhounds will also have to improve in the department of high-quality wins. In the regular season, Naugy was 3-7 against teams with a current winning percentage of .500 or better. They did add a very solid win to their resume with a 13-1 victory over Watertown (11-4) May 11. They also got a big win on the road against Woodland May 15 by a count of 11-4.

The Greyhounds’ seniors were huge contributors in those games. Jenna Miller and Sandra Dinis both combined for seven hits in those two games. Erika Andreoli combined for four hits and Lauren Burns added four hits in the Woodland game alone. Klimaszewski also chipped in with three hits, two runs, and an RBI.

Naugatuck’s Erika Andreoli (9) rounds third on her to home versus Woodland May 13 in Beacon Falls. Naugatuck won the game, 11-4. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Naugatuck’s Erika Andreoli (9) rounds third on her to home versus Woodland May 13 in Beacon Falls. Naugatuck won the game, 11-4. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

The seniors have been a huge part of the reason why the Greyhounds finished over .500 in the regular season, and Wesche could not be more pleased with them.

“I wouldn’t trade them (the seniors) for anything in the world,” Wesche said. “I am very impressed with their leadership. They have come out here and done just about everything I have asked. It is a great group of kids.”

While Naugy had some struggles against the higher quality teams, they won all the games that they were supposed to win. Before Tuesday night, the ‘Hounds were 7-0 against teams under .500. However, Wolcott was 7-12 heading into the regular season finale and that gave the ‘Hounds their first loss against a sub .500 team.

That does not matter much at this point, however, as the Greyhounds head into the NVL tournament as the sixth seed. The Greyhounds will play at No. 3 Torrington Saturday at 11 a.m. in the quarterfinals.