NEWINGTON - The Newington Indians softball team reached a low point of the season following a 15-0 loss at the hands of the Southington Knights May 5. The loss could have devastated the team’s morale, but not the strong-willed Newington girls. The Indians used the loss as motivation and have since won four of their last five games, including all three contests last week. All three victories came against conference opponents and helped separate Newington from a crowded conference group. The late-season push has improved the team’s record record to 9-6 and positions them nicely for the Class LL tournament, which starts in early June.
The week started with a 3-0 shutout of Simbury on Monday. Junior pitcher Olivia Burgos threw a complete game, six hit gem to register her fourth shutout of the season. She also drove in one of the team’s three runs on one her two hits from the plate.
Burgos followed up her shutout last Monday with another efficient home outing last Wednesday night. The team captain struck out 10 of the 26 batters she faced, completing her 11th game of the season in a 6-2 win over Farmington. She didn’t allow her first run until the fourth inning, with Newington already holding a comfortable 3-0 lead.
The home lineup added three more runs in the fifth inning to take a commanding lead. Briana Woods energized the Newington bats, finishing with a hit on all three of her at-bats. She scored two runs and one of her hits was a double, which drove in another run. The senior third basewoman has been the model of consistency this season, registering a hit or run in 12 of the team’s 15 games this season, with four of those multi-hit games.
Freshman Melanie Pantano had her best performance of the season, going three for four, with a double and run scored. It was only her sixth game of the season, but the late-season experience may come in handy for the athletic outfielder once the tournament starts.
Katrina Peck also came up big from the plate in the win over Farmington. The junior drove in two runs on two hits--one a double--and scored a run. Peck, who is the team’s catcher, and Burgos have started every game this season and have solidified the team from behind the plate and on the mound.
Newington closed out their spectacular week by pasting Hall on Thursday night, 7-2. The Indians exploded for a five-run fifth inning and cruised the rest of the way. Senior second basewoman Dana Gionfriddo led the offensive explosion, blasting two hits, driving in two runs, and adding another run scored.
The three-game winning streak puts Newington in sole possession of second place in the Central Connecticut West conference, behind undefeated Southington. The Indians have one more shot to blemish the conference leading Knights this Friday in Southington. They close out the regular season with a home date against Northwest Catholic Tuesday, May 27. The first pitch for the regular season finale is at 4 p.m.