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Young Softball Team Gained Valuable Experience



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Newtown High School’s softball team was hard for Trumbull to shake: The Nighthawks compiled 11 hits, but just could not get the clutch ones in their season-ending 8-2 loss to the visiting Eagles in the Class LL state tournament quarterfinals on June 6.

The Hawks plan to stick around, much like they did against the Eagles, and be contenders in the playoffs for years to come.

“Our core is coming back — our core is very young,” said Coach Joanna Closs, whose starting lineup features seven players expected to return, including five who are freshmen and sophomores.

The Nighthawks went 12-5 during the regular season, reached the South-West Conference tourney quarterfinals, and won two state playoff games as the No. 11 seed, blanking No. 22 Norwalk 4-0 and No. 6 Amity of Woodbridge 1-0 in eight innings, then falling to No. 14 Trumbull.

“I think a lot of people doubted us all year. We were under the radar,” said Closs, whose Nighthawks upset Amity behind stellar pitching from Sydney Adolfson — which included a dozen strikeouts — and Sarah Kick’s run-scoring hit in extra innings.

Against the Eagles, Newtown trailed just 3-0 in the sixth inning before Trumbull padded its lead with three runs in the frame.

Newtown had its chances, as Ashley Hubner had two hits and a run scored, Katie Goyda had a walk and a hit, Bri Pellicone walked and scored, Adolfson had two hits and a run batted in, Maddy Twitchell singled twice, Caroline Gardner walked and singled, and Kick and Morgan Melillo singled.

The Hawks hit the ball hard, but at Trumbull’s fielders with runners on base, including with the bases loaded.

“We just couldn’t get the big hit and they did,” Closs said. “I’m very proud of them. I have a very young team. I’m proud we didn’t give up.”

“Just the fact we’ve come so far and work so well together is great,” said Goyda, a senior captain and outfielder, one of five seniors on the roster.

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

Second baseman Ashley Hubner gets set to field the ball during the state playoff game loss to Trumbull on June 5.
Katie Goyda tosses the bat and heads toward first base after a bunt.
Outfielder Rachel Casagrande throws the ball in. —Bee Phtoos, Hutchison
Pitcher Sydney Adolfson throws sets to throw to first after making a play.
Ashley Hubner throws the ball to first base for an out.
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