Newtown High School’s baseball and softball teams won Class LL state tournament first-round games on June 2.
The baseball team, seeded 21st in its bracket, traveled to Greenwich and came from behind to defeat the No. 12 Cardinals, 3-2. The Nighthawks were down 2-0 in the sixth inning but rallied for three runs in the decisive frame. Sam Czel drove in two runs on a single and Alex Lapinski had a run batted in on a groundout.
Newtown Coach Matt Memoli noted that his team manufactured its runs in this effort. Newtown had four hits, six hit batsmen, and came up with five stolen bases. Greg Hennessey, Virgil Procaccini, and Austin Raftery all had base hits.
Pitching was strong as Greenwich only mustered single runs in the third and fifth innings.
“Jim Parker was outstanding — really locating his fastball, mixing speed and locations, and spotting his knuckleball,” Memoli said of his starter who went all seven innings, allowing just one earned run on five hits, and striking out three.
Newtown’s defense helped out in the sixth when catcher Raftery threw out a base runner trying to steal second.
The Nighthawk sluggers advanced to visit No. 5 Naugatuck in the second round on Tuesday, June 3, with a 3:30 pm first pitch scheduled.
Softball Team Blanks Trumbull
On the softball diamond, more strong pitching carried Newtown to victory. Pitcher Lauren Wilcox tossed a one-hit shutout as the Hawks blanked host Trumbull 4-0. Newtown, the No. 17 seed, advanced to face top-seeded and defending champion Southington, in a 4 pm start on the road on June 3.
Wilcox allowed only a second-inning triple, struck out eight batters, and walked two.
Newtown scored one run in the fourth, two in the fifth, and one in the seventh against No. 16 Trumbull. Kate Laaksonen went 2-for-3 with a double and triple, and two runs batted in.
Dani Shine drove in Kayla O’Grady, a courtesy runner for Laaksonen, with a fourth-inning single. In the fifth, Mikayla Kuligowski singled, Laaksonen followed with an RBI double, and Mali Klorczyk added a run-scoring single. In the seventh, Haley Ryan walked and Laaksonen drove her in with a triple.
Lacrosse Teams Set To Play
On the lacrosse fields, the NHS girls’ and boys’ teams were set to begin state competition on June 3 and 4, respectively. The girls’ squad earned the sixth seed and were scheduled to open tourney action at home against No. 11 Amity of Woodbridge with a 5 pm start at Blue & Gold Stadium. The boys, seeded seventh in their Class L bracket, start things out with a 4:30 pm faceoff against visiting Fairfield Prep, the No. 10 seed, the next day.