By Mark Jaffee, Republican-American
The undefeated Woodland High softball team hopes to keep its quest for its first Naugatuck Valley League title since 2010 going May 22 at 6:30 p.m. in Seymour in the nightcap of a semifinal doubleheader.
The No. 1 Hawks (19-0) will meet No. 5 Seymour (16-4) for a third time.
Woodland shut out the Wildcats twice in the regular season by scores of 3-0 on April 30 and 7-0 on May 18. How difficult is it to play and beat a team three times in season?
“It’s 100 percent (tough), especially playing Seymour because they are always there and they expect to win,” Woodland coach Loren Luddy said. “They always excel in the postseason. Our defense has to be 100 percent on. We’re confident and we’re hitting pretty well. I’m very happy with our work ethic.”
The Hawks beat No. 8 Watertown, 10-4, in the quarterfinals on May 22.
Kylie Bulinski had a single, a double, three runs scored and an RBI against Watertown (9-10). May Dawes had two singles, a double, a run scored and an RBI and Riley Kane added two hits and three RBI.
Samantha Sosnovich chipped in with two hits and a run scored, and Cassidy Doiron added two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Kane had five strikeouts over five innings, and Sosnovich tossed two innings of scoreless relief.
No. 2 Naugatuck (16-3) meets No. 3 Wolcott (16-3) in the first semifinal at Seymour High.
Wolcott won the first meeting against the Greyhounds, 5-3, on April 23, and Naugy took the rematch, 4-2, May 18.
Naugatuck, featuring pitcher Alyssa Roberts, has won 13 games in a row, which includes a forfeit win over Crosby.
“Alyssa has been solid down the stretch and (catcher) Kendall Allen has done a great job calling the game,” said Naugatuck coach Kevin Wesche, in his 20th season.
The Greyhounds haven’t lost a game since an 8-6 decision to Woodland on April 24.
“Wolcott has two very strong pitchers (sophomore Sophia Gugliotti and junior Kaitlyn Ouellette) and a solid batting lineup 1-9, and so do we,” said Wesche. “It should be an exciting, good game.”
Naugatuck beat No. 7 Holy Cross, 13-1, in the quarterfinals.
Roberts had a single, a double and a grand slam with six RBI and also tossed a seven-hitter with 12 strikeouts against Holy Cross (13-8).
Kendall Allen had a single, a double, four RBI and two runs scored and Samantha Mullin added a single, a double and two runs scored.
Lauren Sallvati had two hits and Lauryn Ramahlo chipped in with two hits and two RBI. Other key players were Sam Valentine (double, run scored), Nadia Cestari (single, three runs scored, RBI), Alyssa Hovey (single, run scored), Aryn Bombery (single) and Riley Best (two runs scored).
The final is set for May 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Naugatuck High.