BY KYLE BRENNAN
There’s no touching the Woodland softball team so far this season.
The Hawks got off to an 8-0 start by outscoring their opposition, 131-0. Their performances so far, combined with the high profile they developed last season, have garnered plenty of attention around the state, too. Woodland was ranked fourth in last week’s state media poll, including two first-place votes.
None of what’s happened so far comes as a surprise to the Hawks, but they’re figuring out how to handle everything as they go.
“We definitely have high expectations set,” said senior catcher Kylie Bulinski, the state’s reigning position player of the year. “We try to keep everyone focused on one game at a time and not to look too far ahead. We try not to let polls and stats define the team we are when the ultimate goal is a state championship.”
The stats are pretty good, though. Take Woodland’s 20-0 win over previously unbeaten Wolcott on April 16. The Hawks uncorked a nine-run first inning after a 7:30 a.m. batting practice session — “We were ready to play,” junior pitcher Sam Sosnovich said — and thoroughly dominated.
Sosnovich struck out nine in five perfect innings while also contributing two homers, two doubles, and seven RBI. Riley Kane added three hits, Julia Rowley had two doubles and four runs scored, and Peyton Filippone tallied two singles and four runs.
Rowley and Filippone are among the new contributors for Woodland. Another is Ella VanAlstyne, who struck out 13 in five hitless innings in a 24-0 win over Derby on April 18. She also had three hits, including a homer, with five RBI. Breanna Thurston has also come up big, belting a grand slam in a 20-0 win over Ansonia on April 20. Kane was perfect in that victory with seven strikeouts.
“Starting out this year, we did not know what to expect because we had a new incoming class and positions that needed to be filled,” Bulinski said. “Right now, we are playing great as a team and we are all determined for one goal.”
Woodland had a few tests lined up, including an April 22 game at Naugatuck in a rematch of last year’s league final and a May 2 game at Oxford. The only loss for the Wolverines had been the Hawks before they were defeated in a slugfest by Seymour, 10-9, on April 20.
BY KYLE BRENNAN