Softball Team Heads Into Tourney On Winning Note

Newtown High School’s softball team closed out the regular season with seven wins in its final eight contests — the only blemish an 8-1 setback to unbeaten-in-the-South-West Conference Lauralton Hall of Milford on May 15.

This past week was highlighted by a pair of lopsided wins. The Nighthawks toppled Kolbe Cathedral of Bridgeport 11-3 at Treadwell Park on May 19, and finished off the regular slate with a 21-0 win at Notre Dame-Fairfield on May 20.

In the loss to Lauralton, Dani Shine hit a homerun and had two of Newtown’s five hits.

Against Kolbe, Abi Kuligowski broke open a 1-0 game in the second inning with a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double to make it 4-0 as part of a six-run inning. She finished the game with two hits. Kate Laaksonen went 3-for-4, with two doubles and a triple, and plated two runs. Shine had a pair of hits, including a double, and drove in two runs. Kayla O’Grady had two hits and knocked in two, and Megan Goyda had a double and a triple and a run batted in. Pitcher Gillian Galante improved to 7-2. She struck out eight, walked six, and allowed only two hits.

The Notre Dame game featured pitcher Lauren Wilcox tossing a no-hitter. She and Galante have both thrown no-nos this spring. Wilcox fanned nine batters in the five-inning, mercy rule triumph. The host Lancers had runners on base in only one inning — the fourth — and they were both erased on a rare triple play. An error and hit by pitch put runners on the corners for Notre Dame. Third baseman O’Grady fielded a grounder and threw to Shine at first for one out. Shine then fired home to catcher Laaksonen to tag the runner trying to score. Laaksonen then caught the other base runner rounding third and got her in a rundown between second and third base. The final out was made on a tag at third.

Mali Klorczyk was 4-for-4, including two doubles, with four runs batted in and three runs scored. Shine also went 4-for-4, with three doubles, drove in a run, and scored three. Haley Ryan was 3-for-4 with four batted in and two runs scored. Laaksonen was 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored. Jill Lasorsa went 3-for-5, including a triple, with an RBI and a pair of runs scored.

The Nighthawks finished the regular season at 13-7 (11-4 in the South-West Conference play). They’ll begin competition in the SWC tourney in the quarterfinal round on Saturday, May 24. Newtown had earned the fifth seed and a visit to No. 4 Pomperaug of Southbury, at 11 am.

Heading into their last game, the Hawks were led in batting by Lasarsa (.488 batting average), Laaksonen (.460), Ryan (.458), Shine (.383), Klorczyk (.380), Goyda (.371), Mikayla Kuligowski (.353), and O’Grady (.350). Laaksonen led the team with 28 runs batted in.

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