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Softball Team Blanks E.O. Smith In Second Round, Then Falls To Cheshire In Quarters



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CHESHIRE — After defeating host and No. 8 seed E.O. Smith in Storrs 10-0 in the Class LL State Tournament’s second round on May 29, the No. 9 Newtown High School softball team visited top seed Cheshire in the quarterfinals and saw its season come to an end in a 5-0 loss to the Rams on May 31.

Cheshire hit two-run home runs in each of the first two innings and added a run in the fourth. Newtown, meanwhile, managed just two hits — singles by Gilly Boughan in the fifth and Sophia Caruso in the seventh as Cheshire sophomore pitcher Jenica Matos struck out 14 batters. Newtown’s Maddie Thoesen pitched a strong two and two thirds scoreless innings in relief.

Against E.O. Smith, the Nighthawks led 1-0 in the fifth and broke it open with three runs in that frame followed by putting up five more runs in the sixth and tacking on a run in the seventh. Thoesen, Lila Accousti, and Addy Cordova all homered; Accousti’s longball was her first varsity over-the-fence bomb. Thoesen, Rachel Casagrande, and Bri Pellicone each had a double. Casagrande and Boughn both had two hits. Thoesen knocked in three, and Pellicone drove in two runs.

“We made great contact and great adjustments at the plate. We showed a lot of aggression at the plate,” Newtown Coach Megan Goyda said.

Thoesen pitched all seven innings, allowing four walks and racking up a dozen strikeouts. Accousti and Julia Berry made nice catches in the outfield, and infielders Cordova and Caitlin Milks made solid plays in the middle of the infield to keep runners off base.

Newtown went 14-6 during the regular season and reached the South-West Conference Championship game, pushing Masuk of Monroe into extra innings before falling. The Nighthawks had four regular-season games decided by just one run, and five contests come down to the final inning, in addition to the SWC title game dramatics.

“I couldn’t be prouder. We really had to grind this year. To get to where we came today is really an accomplishment,” Goyda said.

“I’ve had a good run. We all have,” Berry added. “We really all get along.”

The Nighthawks will lose Berry, Pellicone, Casagrande, and Milks to graduation and stand to bring back a wealth of talent throughout the lineup.

“I’m going to miss all the seniors — very big shoes to fill,” said Thoesen, a junior who also plays in middle of the infield. “We’re going to come back stronger next year.”

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

Maddie Thoesen delivers a pitch as shortstop Bri Pellicone stands in position to field during Newtown’s 5-0 setback at Cheshire in the State Tournament on May 31. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Rachel Casagrande takes off from first base.
Gilly Boughan had a hit for NHS in the State Tournament quarterfinals.
Addy Cordova throws a pitch for the Nighthawks.
Sophia Caruso singled for Newtown in the quarterfinal round.
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