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Softball Team Compiles 25 Runs In Perfect Game And Battles Tough Nonconference Foes



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The highlight of the week undoubtedly was a 25-0 win over visiting Joel Barlow of Redding on April 11. Not only did Newtown High School’s softball team’s offense dominate with two dozen hits but backup pitchers Addy Cordova and Rheya Litke combined on a five-inning perfect game from the pitcher’s circle.

Cordova pitched two frames and Litke three and the tandem combined for 13 strikes in this no contest that was called after Barlow batted in the top half of the fifth because of the mercy rule.

“For us it was a good mental reset,” said Newtown Coach Megan Goyda, whose team opened the season with four straight games against challenging nonconference teams — all decided by one or two runs — and was coming off a 1-0 extra-inning loss to host Shepaug Valley in Washington the day before.

Goyda noted that everybody in the lineup contributed and it was nice to not have to sweat one out all the way down to the last pitch for the first time this spring.

But as enjoyable as it may have been to rack up 14 runs in the second inning alone on the way to that ultra-dominant performance the setback to Shepaug Valley along with a 6-3 loss to visiting Waterford on April 13 will arguably be better for the Nighthawks in the long run.

“The games where there’s a little pressure with everything you do, that’s what’s going to help us reach our ultimate goal,” Goyda acknowledged.

As far as that ultimate goal goes, the Nighthawks, coming off a South-West Conference Championship last spring, are looking to repeat and also challenge for a state title.

In the Shepaug game, which was decided in the ninth inning, Maddie Thoesen pitched eight and a third dominant frames, allowing four hits, just the one run, and walked two; she compiled 17 strikeouts to match her pitching counterpart’s K total. Newtown also mustered four hits with Julia Berry smacking two doubles, and Bri Pellicone hitting a triple and reaching on a single. Goyda said her batters did not make adjustments and therefore could not muster a rally.

Against Waterford on a chilly, windy and late-in-the game rainy day, Newtown managed eight hits and two walks but did not capitalize on enough chances, leaving eight base runners stranded. Newtown’s coach liked how her hitters adjusted as the game moved along.

“We made good contact. We just hit it at them,” Goyda said.

Waterford led 3-0 in the third. Thoesen nearly escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second when she struck out the side, for a trio of her ten fanned batters, but a wild pitch gave the visitors their first run. After Waterford worked around a leadoff double by Caruso in the bottom of the second it scored twice in the third. In the bottom of the third Julia Berry crushed a solo home run to left. Cordova and Thoesen followed with deep fly outs and Pellicone singled before Newtown was retired. Down 4-1 in the fifth the Hawks put two runners in scoring position with no outs but could not capitalize.

Waterford doubled its run total on homers, a solo blast in the fifth and two-run shot in the seventh, to seemingly put the game out of reach. But Newtown scratched out a couple of runs and brought the potential tying run up to bat in the seventh but left two runners on base to end the threat.

Take it for what it is worth but Newtown’s biggest SWC nemesis, Masuk of Monroe, also faced Waterford and prevailed 4-1.

There was no such drama in the Barlow game. Offensive highlights from that one included four hits, including a homer, and seven runs batted in by Thoesen; four hits, two RBI, and four runs scored by Berry; three hits, three RBI, and a trio of runs scored by Gabby Ansman; and a hit, three walks, three RBI, and three runs scored by Caitlin Milks. Rachael Casagrande had two hits, an RBI, and two runs scored; and Olivia Doersch and Gilly Boughan both collected two hits, an RBI, and run scored. Berry had two doubles and Pellicone, Ansman, Boughan, and Cordova all added extra base hits.

Newtown also had an easy one at Pomperaug of Southbury on April 15. The Hawks jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the opening inning on the way to a 13-1 triumph. This was another shortened game due to the mercy rule and ended when the Hawk put up another five spot in the top of the sixth. Thoesen pitched five innings of two-hit ball, allowing one run, walking one, and fanning nine batters. Cordova pitched a perfect frame and struck out all three batters.

Berry had three hits, including a double, drove in a run and scored three times; Thoesen had three hits, including a double, three RBI, and two runs scored; Pellicone, Ansman, and Lila Accousti all had two hits with Ansman and Accousti each driving in a pair of runs. Casagrande tripled and scored as Newtown collected 15 hits.

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

Third baseman Sophia Caruso fields a ground ball during a home game against Waterford on April 13. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Right fielder Julia Berry throws the ball in from the warning track.
Caitlin Milks squares up to bunt.
Addy Cordova throws the ball back to her pitcher.
Maddie Thoesen delivers a pitch to home plate.
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