Log In

Reset Password

400 Career Strikeouts! Adolfson And Unbeaten Hawks Know This Might Be Their Year



Text Size

After simply crushing its first seven South-West Conference opponents by scoring an average of almost 20 runs per non-contest, Newtown High School’s softball team faced its first true test of the spring. The Nighthawks passed that test with flying colors — and a milestone moment while getting some redemption along the way — defeating visiting Brookfield, the team that knocked the Hawks out of last year’s SWC playoffs, 6-0 at home on May 1.

Pitcher Sydney Adolfson was dominant in limiting the Bobcats to one base runner, falling only a late-game bunt single short of a perfect game. She reached the 400 career strikeout mark as part of her 12-strikeout performance. Adolfson blanked a Bobcat lineup that previously posted five double-digit offensive performances.

“It was great to see her adjusting to these hitters. This is a very good-hitting team. To shut them out is impressive,” Newtown Coach Joanna Closs said.

Adolfson was 100 percent focused on the task at hand, unaware she sat on 399 strikeouts entering the game.

“It’s crazy. I didn’t really expect it. It’s mind-blowing,” said Newtown’s pitcher who has been spot on, having walked only one batter this season, which has been a magical one thus far. “It definitely feels good. We have a lot of very good talent and we have a really young team which is exciting to see.”

Catcher Bri Pellicone has worked as Adolfson’s battery-mate throughout the years, including in summer season, and is cherishing her final games catching Adolfson.

As for the milestone strikeout tally, what makes an already impressive feat a bit mind-boggling is that Adolfson lost one season due to the impact of the coronavirus. The senior has fanned 400 and counting in about two and a half seasons. Following the win over Brookfield, Newtown still had eight games plus playoffs, which at this point look to be a lot of games as the Nighthawks strive to win their first conference title since 2016 and make a run deep into the state playoffs.

“Oh yeah — I think this is definitely our year to shine,” Pellicone said. “I’m very confident in this team. We all have the desire to win.”

“I think they want it real bad,” Closs added.

Newtown’s coach noted that the players are very enthusiastic during games and are up from the bench, cheering each other on with every hit, or defensive play that goes their way. Newtown has made sure almost everything has gone its way this spring on the way to an unbeaten first half of the campaign. In other words, there has been a lot of cheering. On top of that, the captains called for a meeting to talk about the team’s accomplishments and pump each other up for the big game against Brookfield.

“I love the energy,” Closs said.

Pitching seems to be the difference-maker in softball, but without some runs, those strikeouts, ground outs, and flyball outs would go to waste. Against Brookfield, Newtown’s bats supported Adolfson with Maddie Thoesen blasting her sixth home run and Caroline Gardner, Julia Berry, and Sofia Caruso all drilling doubles. Berry and Thoesen both knocked in two runs, Adolfson helped her own cause with a couple of hits and a run batted in, and Rachel Casagrande drove in a run.

Newtown was coming off of one of those blowouts, a 20-2, five-inning, mercy-rule pounding of visiting Kolbe Cathedral of Bridgeport on April 26. Berry tripled, Caruso doubled twice, and Adolfson, Pellicone, Thoesen, and Gillian Boughan all doubled. Boughan had two hits and drove in three runs, Noelle Marrazzo had two hits and drove in three, and Berry, Pellicone, Gardner, Adolfson, and Caruso all knocked in a pair of runs. Gardner pitched and struck out a dozen.

The Hawks had their May 2 visit to Immaculate of Danbury postponed by rain. A May 3 game versus Stratford also got postponed. NHS has some potentially tough nonconference battles on tap, including back-to-back home games with Fitch of Groton on Friday, May 5 at 4:30 pm and Shepaug Valley of Washington the next day at 2 pm.

Newtown also plays Woodland of Beacon Falls — that is the last game on the slate, Tuesday, May 16, home at 4 pm, as the Hawks tune up for the playoffs. All three of these non-SWC clashes are ones Closs is looking forward to.

“It’s going to be really nice to test our bats,” the coach said.

The one everybody has circled on the schedule, though, is the Monday, May 15, visit to six-time SWC champion Masuk of Monroe, which has lost only once, to nonconference Fairfield Ludlowe in a 2-1 nail-biter; first pitch is at 4:15 pm.

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

Sydney Adolfson reached the 400 career strikeout milestone in Newtown’s 6-0 win over visiting Brookfield on May 1. Adolfson holds a sign recognizing her accomplishment. Pictured holding the balloons are, from left: Sophia Caruso, Caroline Gardner, and Bri Pellicone. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Sydney Adolfson, above, throws a pitch for the Nighthawks during a win over Brookfield.
Shortstop Maddie Thoesen stands in ready position to make a play. Thoesen homered in Newtown’s win over Brookfield.
Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply