BEACON FALLS — When Woodland’s Stephanie Kiley threw a no-hitter in a win over Wilby back on April 16 everyone seemed to forget that the then 3-1 Hawks were trying to pick up the pieces after graduating four all-league players.
That reality hit hard over the following few weeks as Woodland went 2-5 in the next seven games.
However, head coach Loren Luddy has proven to be a master builder of dynasties at Woodland. The Hawks got back on track last Saturday as sophomore Maddie Hupprich authored the second no-hitter of the season in a 15-0 win over Derby.
“I was just looking to throw strikes and rely on my teammates to make the plays behind me,” Hupprich said. “I give them all the credit. They fielded every ball and didn’t make any errors. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Humble words for a young pitcher who just threw her first high school no-hitter.
The Hawks certainly backed up Hupprich at the plate. Woodland unloaded four home runs and eight extra base hits in the five-inning mercy rule win over the Raiders.
Cameron Caswell wielded the biggest bat. She belted a triple and two home runs, and drove in five runs. Samantha White slugged a run-scoring double and a two-run homer, and Ivy Geloso added a two-run homer to lead the Hawks’ fireworks.
“A couple of the losses that we had taught us that we need to work on some things, and making consistent contact was one of them,” Caswell said. “I just went up there looking to swing at strikes and I got a good piece of a few pitches. Hopefully, a game like this will get our offense going.”
Hupprich set the tone with two strikeouts in the first inning and the Woodland bats took it from there. A three-base error had White at third base when Caswell drove a standup-triple down the line in left to put the Hawks on the board.
Emily Brouillette bunted in a run and Samantha Buzgo ripped a triple over the left fielder’s head. Geloso followed with a two-run homer and Woodland was in business holding a 4-0 lead.
Hupprich was getting Derby to hit her pitch as she retired the side in the second on three straight comebackers to the pitcher’s circle.
Carla Piccolo singled for the Hawks in the second inning and Caswell hit a two-run homer to up the advantage at 6-0.
Geleso walked to open the third, and after Gabriella Bedryczuk hit a drive to deep center the wheels came off the wagon for Derby. Hupprich belted a run-scoring double and pinch runner Lindsey Gabianelli came around to score on a single from Piccolo. Caswell finished off the Raiders with her second two-run homerun of the game for an 11-0 lead.
Hupprich struck out two batters in three different innings, including the last two in the fifth to give her seven strikeouts for the game. Woodland put it away erupting with four more runs in the fifth to account for the 15-0 final margin.
Luddy said a victory like the one over Derby is what her Hawks needed.
“We have been inconsistent over the past few weeks,” Luddy said. “Hopefully, a game like this will get us back on track. We have been struggling with the routine stuff, making errors, not getting bunts down and with a tough week coming up we needed a win like this.”
Woodland followed up the victory over Derby with a solid 13-9 win over Wolcott on Monday to improve to 7-6 on the season. Piccolo led the way with a single, double and home run and scored three runs. Brouillette drove in three runs. Geloso added two RBI, and White hit a single and a triple to spark the offense.
The Hawks are scheduled to play Seymour on Wednesday and Crosby on Friday. Woodland will need to roll up their sleeves next week as they host Torrington on May 11, Naugatuck on May 13 and finish with Watertown on May 14.