The Woodland softball team’s offense looked like it had things figured out just in time for a Naugatuck Valley League tournament run. Seymour made sure to keep the Hawks out of a groove and knocked them out of the tourney.
The Wildcats exploded for 11 runs and freshman pitcher Raeanne Geffert held Woodland to only six hits as Seymour eliminated the Hawks, 11-1, in Tuesday’s NVL tournament semifinals at Wolcott High.
Seymour dominated from the beginning, plating four runs in the first inning and seven more in the fifth. The Wildcats banged out 15 hits to support Geffert, who allowed just one run. Carissa Wasikowski had three RBI, including a two-run triple in the first, while Mykala O’Hara added two hits and two RBI for Seymour.
The disappointing offensive showing for Woodland (17-5) came a day after the team looked great in a 9-0 win over Wolcott in the tournament quarterfinals. Eight of those runs came in the first three innings as the Hawks recorded 13 hits.
Woodland’s first five batters all reached base and scored. It was a drastic change from the Hawks’ 4-3 loss at Wolcott last Tuesday, a defeat which cost them a share of the NVL Brass Division title.
“When we played Wolcott last week, there was a series of unfortunate plays to start the game that increased our frustration level,” Woodland coach Loren Luddy said. “Today they were more relaxed and ready to hit. They’re ready to go; it’s the postseason.”
Brianna Pacileo led off by reaching on an error and came around to score on an errant throw caused by Brooke Leshin’s infield single. Leshin later scored on a double steal with Cameron Caswell, who singled to left.
“We just came out ready,” Leshin said. “Our bats were hot in the first inning and we kept up the intensity.”
Rachel Starkey singled through the left-side hole to place runners on the corners before Nicole Fowler stroked an RBI single up the middle to plate Caswell for a 3-0 lead.
Samantha Lee’s sacrifice fly to right made it a 4-0 game, Natalie Veneri’s double down the left-field line made it 5-0 and an error on Carla Piccolo’s grounder brought in Veneri for a 6-0 lead.
That was plenty for Lee, who coasted in the circle. She went six innings and gave up just two hits, to Stephanie Harman and Elizabeth Marin. Lee walked one and fanned eight, four of which came with runners in scoring position in the third and fifth.
“I’ve always been good at staying calm in those situations,” said Lee, a junior pitching in her first NVL tournament after injuries sidelined her in each of the last two seasons. “I don’t get too nervous during it. I focus on hitting my spots and trying not to give batters too good of pitches to hit.”
Leshin notched the other big hit of the day for Woodland in the third, when she stroked a two-out double to plate Lee and Piccolo for an 8-0 lead. The Hawks’ other run came in the fifth, when Pacileo singled and scored on Caswell’s sac fly.
“We sped up our bats,” said Leshin, who was 2-for-3 with a walk, a run, two RBI and a steal.
Woodland will host a first-round state tournament game Tuesday.
Naugatuck falls in quarters: The Greyhounds dropped their tournament opener Monday in an 8-3 decision against Holy Cross. Naugy (14-7) only managed four hits against Crusaders pitcher Iliana Rivera as Cross won the season series, 2-1.
Erica Bohuski paced Naugatuck’s offense with two of the team’s four hits and an RBI. Jackie Aronin contributed a triple and a run.
The ‘Hounds will open state tournament play Tuesday.