Hubner Keeps On Hitting (And Fields Mouse)
You’ve heard of five-tool players — known to hit for contact, power, speed, fielding, and throwing. Newtown High School’s softball team may have a six-tool player now.
We introduce to you infielder/outfielder, slugger, and pest control standout Ashley Hubner, who had three hits including a double, walked, drove in three runs, scored twice, stole a base ...oh, and fielded a mouse in Newtown’s 11-0 win over visiting Weston on May 7.
The mouse appeared from foul territory along the third base side and halted play briefly in the middle innings. After making a dash onto the field, it darted in the direction of second baseman Hubner, who calmly gloved the mouse like she would a grounder, ran it off the field, and released it.
Game on. Hubner had a 3-for-3 day, lifting her batting average to a “ridiculous” as Coach Joanna Closs put it, .634; and she has had a hit in every game. Hubner went on to go 4-for-6 in a 22-1 win over Stratford on May 8, then had another three-hit day in a 16-2 blowout over Bunnell of Stratford on May 10, helping the Nighthawks to a 10-4 record. Hubner upped her average to .660. That’s slow pitch softball talk. You could say she’s batting WFAN. “Crazy” is how Closs describes Hubner’s work in the batter’s box.
The Hawks, like any squad, have had some games in the field they would rather not remember, but the one on May 7 is likely one they will never forget. In an effort to clean up Newtown’s defense, Closs moved her fielders around, and it resulted in the Hawks fielding everything cleanly — including that surprise visitor. Could he have heard about the softball program’s past trips to Walt Disney World to see Mickey, Minnie, and friends?
“That was a nice play,” Closs acknowledged.
“She has been amazing. Very versatile, played outfield but I needed her in the infield, and she’s adjusted so well to second base and shortstop,” Closs said of Hubner. “She also has had such a positive attitude in the dugout, often commending other players who don’t get a lot of playing time on how influential they are being a part of the team. She has just been an absolute delight to coach.”
The Newtown Coach noted that Sarah Kick had a flawless day scooping balls at first base, and Morgan Melillo called a solid game behind the plate in the win over Weston. Pitcher Sydney Adolfson was her usual dominant self, allowing only two hits and striking out eight, to give her 88 Ks this year. With the shutout, Adolfson has allowed an average of two earned runs per game all told.
Caroline Gardner slugged her third home run of the spring, Katie Goyda had two singles and an RBI; Kick delivered an RBI double; Maddie Twitchell walked twice, scored twice, and drove in a run; and Melillo and Rachel Casagrande both singled and scored.
The Nighthawks had ten hits and capitalized on some miscues in the field by the Trojans.
“We put the ball in play. Things happen when you put the ball in play,” Closs noted.
Against Stratford, a five-inning, mercy-rule blowout, Hubner, Twitchell, Gardner, and Bri Pellicone all doubled. Nicole Fisher allowed four hits in her five strong innings pitched, and also drove in a couple of runs. Melillo knocked in four, Hubner batted in three, and Kick and Twitchell both added two runs batted in.
Gardner pitched six innings, allowed seven hits, did not allow an earned run, and fanned ten in the win over Bunnell. Pellicone hit a pair of homers as part of her three-hit, six-RBI performance, and Twitchell and Gardner joined Pellicone and Hubner with three-hit efforts.
The Hawks pushed top-ranked Masuk of Monroe in a 1-0 setback on May 12. Read more about that game in the May 21 print edition of The Bee.
Andy Hutchison can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.