Newtown High School’s softball team took advantage of ten walks to make the most of only four hits in defeating host Joel Barlow of Redding 8-3 on April 23. The Nighthawks then dropped both ends of a double header against Pomperaug of Southbury at Treadwell Park on April 28. Newtown carried a 4-5 overall record into the middle of the week.
In the win at Barlow, Kate Laaksonen’s double was Newtown’s lone extra base hit. Laaksonen, Mikayla Kuligowski, Haley Ryan, Mali Klorczyk, Karlie Kuligowski, and Jill Lasorsa all drove in runs. Pitcher Gillian Galante picked up her third win, allowing three hits, striking out seven, and walking six.
After a scheduled visit to Immaculate of Danbury on April 26 got postponed by rain, the Hawks and Panthers played two. Newtown hung close in a 2-1 loss in game one before again sticking around, down 4-3 at one point, only to see the Panthers win 6-3 in the nightcap. Pomperaug improved to 8-1 overall.
In the first game, Laaksonen had an run-scoring single, but the Panthers battled back and took advantage of an error to push across the deciding run in the seventh inning.
Galante struck out eight batters and walked just two in defeat. Klorczyk and Karlie Kuligowski both had two hits.
Newtown didn’t go quietly in the seventh. Klorczyk was robbed of a hit on a nice stab by Pomperaug’s third baseman. Karlie Kuligowski roped a two-out single, and pinch runner Lasorsa stole second base but was left stranded.
In game two, Laaksonen had two hits and drove in all three runs, and Lasorsa and Klorczyk both had two hits. Lauren Wilcox struck out seven and walked five.
“Our hitting and defense has been really good,” Newtown Coach Bob Guererra said after the first game. “You know you’re going to have your flat games.”
The coach added that his team wasn’t at its best in the Pomperaug doubleheader, but there have been some positive signs this spring. Newtown has scored in double digits in two of its early wins.
“The hitting’s been good. We’ve scored an awful lot of runs,” Guererra said.
Against really tough pitching, the offense has been slowed. Oxford blanked Newtown 4-0 in the first meeting of the campaign, but in a rematch a week later the Nighthawks, despite losing 2-1, looked much better at the plate, Guererra said.
“That’s a great confidence builder that you can play at the level she throws at,” the coach said.
The Hawks have the goal of qualifying for the playoffs — at least the state tournament which requires eight wins, and possibly the South-West Conference bracket.
“You’d like to be peaking going in,” said Guererra, adding that the key will be beating the weaker teams Newtown has its best chance of defeating.