BROOKFIELD — Throughout the early and middle innings of the South-West Conference Tournament quarterfinal round clash between fifth-seeded Newtown and No. 4 and host Brookfield on May 21, Newtown freshman pitcher Lauren Wilcox worked out of jam after jam. Finally, in the sixth inning, the Bobcats broke through, erupting for five runs — all with two outs — to erase a 1-0 deficit and defeat the Nighthawks 5-1.
Newtown, which had lost 13-6 to Brookfield late in the regular season, found itself in a low-scoring affair on a hot, muggy afternoon. Wilcox escaped a first inning in which the Bobcats put two runners on base. In the third, with the game still scoreless, left fielder Abi Kuligowski made a nice running catch down the left field line to help Wilcox pitch a one-two-three frame.
The Nighthawks got in the scoreboard in the top of the fourth on a bases loaded single by Kate Laaksonen, a grounder through the left side of the infield. Jess Gibbons, Emily Woznick, and Kuligowski had all singled ahead of Laaksonen’s go-ahead knock.
Brookfield left the bases loaded in the fourth and fifth innings. Wilcox helped her own cause, stopping a hard line drive that knocked her glove off, then throwing to first for the first out, with two runners on in the fourth inning.
Kuligowski had two hits for the Hawks. Wilcox allowed ten hits in her six innings of work.
Newtown now awaits the start of Class LL state tournament play; first-round action begins on May 28. The Hawks went 13-7 during the regular season and appeared positioned to be in the middle of the pack of the state bracket.
In the May 15 game against Brookfield, held under the lights at Treadwell Park, the Hawks and Bobcats raised $1,500 through collections and sales of ice cream and T-shirts. The money will be donated to the Sandy Hook Elementary Fund through the Lions Club of Newtown, said Newtown Coach Tara Allegretto, adding that the fund supports counseling for Sandy Hook students, faculty, family members, and first responders.
Newtown’s hitting leaders for the regular season are as follows: Dani Shine .455 batting average, Mikayla Kuligowski .400 batting average, Gibbons .426 batting average, and Kayla O’Grady .384 batting average. Shine 30 hits, Gibbons 29 hits, Mikayla Kuligowski and O’Grady 28 hits, and Woznick 24 hits. Mikayla Kuligowski and Gibbons, 25 runs scored. Gibbons 29 runs batted in; Shine 24 RBI; and Woznick 22 RBI. Gibbons seven home runs. O’Grady, Gibbons, Woznick, and Shine each with two triples. Woznick six doubles; and Laaksonen five doubles.