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STRATFORD - Once was a charm.



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STRATFORD – Once was a charm.

Twice was not.

The Newtown Hawks might have edged the undefeated Connecticut Charmers in one of the early rounds of the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) U10 Open Tournament in Stratford last weekend but couldn’t do it a second time – in the finals – and thus finished second.

With victories over Cheshire (8-3), Norwalk (21-1), Norwalk again (14-5), and the Connecticut Charmers (4-3), the Hawks – the defending New England Regional champions – vaulted themselves into the ASA finals.

But it was against the Charmers, a very strong program based in Orange. And all the Charmers did was defeat the Hawks twice, 11-1 and 4-2, to earn the ASA championship.

The Hawks finished 4-2.

“We did well,” said head coach Nancy Bowen, “but we just couldn’t beat the Charmers again. We gave them their first loss, which was nice, but their pitching is so deep, we couldn’t do it again. But placing second in an open tournament is good and I am proud of our kids.”

In the opener for Newtown, Megan Sajovic tossed a two-hitter, striking out 10 as the Hawks defeated Cheshire. Nora Lynn Shimko had a great day at the plate, ripping three singles while Laura Newberry added a double.

Kaila Harrington, Caitlin Cosgrove and Megan Sajovic also collected hits for the Hawks.

In the win over Norwalk, Kate Bowen and Shimko combined on the mound for the win. Marley Koschel banged out three hits while Tara Hiteshew and Elissa Robertson had two apiece. Newberry and Sajovic also singled.

Right fielder Annmarie Davis sparked the defense by throwing out a runner at first.

In the following win over Norwalk, it was Shimko, Bowen and Sajovic combining on the mound for the win. Cosgrove and Harrington collected two hits apiece while Davis and Sajovic each contributed a bit.

And in the win over the Charmers, Cosgrove – with the score all knotted at three – singled to right, driving in Shimko with the winning run. Sajovic was superb on the mound, going the distance and limiting the Charmers to just four hits and three walks while striking out 10 batters. as she struck out 10 and scattered  just 4 hits.

At the plate, Bowen collected two hits while Robertson, Shimko and Harrington each smacked one. All four players scored. On defense, Koschel (CF) and Bowen (2B) made outstanding catchers while Cosgrove (C) threw out a runner attempting to steal.

In the first game of the championship round (double-elimination), the Hawks fell to the Charmers  despite a strong pitching effort by Bowen and Shimko. Koschel and Sajovic (RBI) smashed singles to spark what little offense the Hawks could manage.

Ally Modzelewski made an outstanding catch in centerfield while leftfielder Monique Samuelson made several nice plays for Newtown.

The deciding game was much closer, but still went the way of the Charmers. Sajovic was outstanding on the mound, striking out seven while walking just one. Shimko remained hot at the plate, collecting two singles and a double. Davis, Harrington, Koschel and Cosgrove all had singles.

Hiteshew (CF) and Modzelewski (RF) made outstanding catches.

Meanwhile, the Hawks remained undefeated during regular season action, with wins over Stratford and Town Plot (Waterbury). Those three wins – and their success in the ASA Tournament – helped the Hawks boost their record to 7-2.

In a 5-0 win over the Stratford Seahawks, Sajovic fired a two-hitter, striking out 14 batters over seven innings. The Hawks scored all their runs in the third inning – a walk to Robertson was followed by a bunt single by Bowen, which set the table for an RBI single by Shimko. Sajovic drew a walk and Koschel rapped a two-run single. Cosgrove then chipped in with a two-run single of her own.

Cosgrove and Koschel both played well behind the plate, with Koschel throwing out a runner attempting to steal third base.

In a 29-3 win over Town Plot, the Hawks exploded for 20 hits as every player in the line up collected a hit for the cause. Sajovic had three of those (two singles and a double) while Robertson, Bowen, Shimko, Koschel, Cosgrove, Harrington (double), Davis and Modzelewski had two hits apiece.

Newberry, Hiteshew and Samuelson each smacked a single to complete the attack.

Shimko, Bowen, Harrington and Samuelson combined on the mound to toss a no-hitter.

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