NAUGATUCK — The first-ever NVL Senior All-Star softball game was held at the Naugatuck High School field on Tuesday evening, matching the Brass Division against the Copper Division.
The event was sponsored by the Waterbury/Naugatuck Umpire Association, which hopes it will be an annual event that honors the graduating seniors from all 12 league schools.
Three players were originally selected from each school, making up the 18-player roster from each Division. Due to changes in the original date, two of the NVL schools, Woodland and Ansonia were not represented due to graduation services.
“We had to change the date for this event three times already,” said All-Star game chairman Keith Borkowski, as a persistent rain fell during the pre-game ceremonies. “It’s near impossible to try and coordinate all 12 schools and the players selected in between graduations and who is away on vacation.”
“We had to finally select a date and Naugatuck was gracious enough to host the event thanks to Kevin Wesche and Marybeth Ford.”
Master of ceremonies Al Rosenberg introduced each of the players to the crowd of about 150 supporters before saying the words everyone was waiting to hear: “Play ball.”
Amanda Willette of Seymour honored America by playing the National Anthem on the violin just before the first pitch.
Missing from the event were NVL senior All-Stars from Woodland Katie Alfiere, Aubrey Roulanatis and Kaiti Lembo. Away on vacation and unable to attend were Alexis and Andrea Granahan and Skye Stella from Naugatuck.
Representing the Greyhounds was four time All-NVL and two-time All-State second baseman Julia Longo. The Naugatuck All-Star has been selected for three postseason All-Star games, the Connecticut Coaches game, the Elite All-Star game and the NVL All-Star game.
The rain showers continued throughout the game, but they didn’t put a damper on the event as the crowd stayed and cheered on their All-Stars. Alicia Markey of Wolcott pitched the Brass Stars to a 3-1 victory over Emily O’Keefe of St. Paul and the Copper stars.
The Brass Division struck first as Willette reached on an infield hit to start the game, and then stole second and third. Melissa Granger of Watertown drew a walk and stole second base.
Shelia Cavagnuolo hit one down the line at third to Liz Santana of Crosby and the return throw to the plate, where catcher Kelsey O’Donnell of Sacred Heart applied the tag cut down the run.
Markey stepped in and drilled a pitch to the fence in center, driving in Granger with the sacrifice fly for a 1-0 Brass advantage.
Deanna Aurio and Katherine Natale of Holy Cross tried to get something started for the Copper Stars.
In the third the Brass stars tacked on two more runs to up the margin at 3-0. Carley Monaco of Derby drew a walk and Willette reached on a bunt single.
Markey emptied the base,s crushing a two-run double into the center field gap before O’Keefe managed to strike out the side to end the uprising.
In the fourth, the Copper Stars put up their first threat. Longo broke up Markey’s no-hitter, getting all the way to third on her hit and an error.
Longo was left stranded, but the Copper Stars finally struck in the fifth when O’Keefe led off with a single and came around to score on a double off the bat of Ashley Gonzalez of Kennedy.
That was all the scoring in the game as both pitchers buckled down over the final few innings with the Brass Stars coming away with the slim, 3-1 win over the Copper Stars.