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‘We Will Be Dangerous This Year’ — Softball Team Eyes Run To Championship



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On the softball field, Newtown High School’s squad has high hopes for a run to the South-West Conference championship and to be one of the last teams — if not the last lineup — standing when the state playoffs wrap up.

“Goals are to win the SWC and make it to at least the semis in the State championship. We have a very strong core of young talent, led by our two seniors,” said Newtown Coach Joanna Closs, referring to catcher Morgan Melillo and outfielder Maddy Twitchell.

Pitcher Sydney Adolfson, second baseman Ashley Hubner, and shortstop Brianna Pellicone are each coming off All-SWC seasons. These players, along with first baseman Caroline Gardner are all coming off what Closs called “fantastic breakout seasons last year,” and will be the foundation of this team.

“With the addition of two starting freshmen and an outfield led by Rachel Casagrande in center, we will be dangerous this year,” Closs promises.

“We have great depth at pitching, a tremendous infield — which is also young. This team is going to be a blast to coach and watch. Every kid on this team has aspirations to play in college and all of them are very dedicated to this team and sport,” Closs said.

Tough SWC foes include defending champion Masuk of Monroe, runner-up Notre Dame-Fairfield, and New Milford. Newtown will have to wait to face all of these squads as they are on the schedule in May.

The Nighthawks had a great 1-0 battle/loss to Masuk under the lights last year. “We expect to have another great game under the lights with them this year — hoping to finally best them,” said Closs, whose team will host the Panthers at Treadwell Park in the second to last game of the regular slate, Monday, May 16 at 7 pm.

Newtown came out on the winning end three times in a trio of exciting games against New Milford last year. “I know they want revenge and we’re excited to have them on the schedule twice,” said Closs, whose team plays the Green Wave twice in the final couple of weeks, including another night contest at Treadwell Park.

“On the flip side of New Milford, we were on the losing side three times in close games and we want revenge against a great pitcher from ND,” said Closs, whose Nighthawks visit the Lancers late in the slate.

Newtown will not have to wait for nearly the end of the season for tough competition, however, with some tough FCIAC foes awaiting in April. In fact, the season begins Saturday, April 2, with a visit to Darien at 1 pm.

St Joseph of Trumbull comes to town Monday, April 4, at 4 pm for Newtown’s home opener. The Hawks also entertain Danbury and visit Fairfield Warde in a couple more clashes with FCIAC teams in the opening days of the season.

Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at andyh@thebee.com.

Caroline Gardner runs the bases last season. The Hawks are striving to win the conference championship. —Bee file photos
Maddy Twitchell is among the returning players to a strong Nighthawk lineup.
Morgan Melillo and the Hawks are looking forward to competitive games against rivals including Notre Dame, New Milford, and Masuk.
Ashley Hubner takes her lead off first base last year.
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