Trumbull softball unloads on Nonnewaug, wins 15-3

Led by a 10-run explosion in the second inning, the Trumbull High School softball team went on and crushed Nonnewaug High School 15-3 during a Monday matinee at THS.

“I thought we played really well,” Trumbull head coach Cary Nadel said. “They were focused, hit well, had to be patient at the plate and they were. They kept their hands back and did what they needed to do to get the win.”

Trailing 1-0 heading into the bottom of the second inning, sophomore Ally Szabo got the ball rolling with a single to center and junior Kristen Dutertre came in as a courtesy runner. Sophomore Lea Thompson netted a walk to put two runners on base.

With one out, junior Lauren Zielinski loaded the bases with a bunt single. Up stepped senior Nicole Palmer and she launched a double to deep right field that plated both Szabo and Dutertre and give THS a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the day.

After sophomore Taylor Brown kept the good times rolling with a walk to once again load the bases, it was junior Sarah Angelo’s turn to connect on a double, scoring Zielinski and Palmer to give the Eagles a 4-1 lead.

Still with only one out, senior Harleigh Kaczegowicz stepped up to the plate and unloaded on a home run that landed well beyond the center field wall, scoring three more run and giving Trumbull the 7-1 advantage.

“I was a little worried going into the second because we do get a little rattled right off the bat,” Kaczegowicz said. “We were talking about [Nonnewaug] wasn’t as strong as some of the teams we are going to face later in the year. But I knew we could pick it up. We showed that we could do that during our Newtown game. It felt great to help out with that homer and it’s a hard adjustment for me because I play 18-U travel ball. To come back to slower pitching is hard, but once I adjust I’m on fire most of the time.”

This time is was senior Emily Clark’s turn to get on base, as she came up next and hit a single to left field. An error by the pitcher put Szabo on base for the second time in the second inning.

With two outs, Thompson hit a fly ball to center, but the center fielder misplayed the ball and Clark crossed the plate. Trumbull struck again a batter later when Zielinski smacked a liner to deep left, scoring two more and giving the Eagles a commanding 10-1 advantage.

“It felt really good out there,” Kaczegowicz said. “I knew we would be strong because it was a nice, sunny day and we haven’t had one of those yet. We had a few hiccups, but we are looking better and better and getting stronger as a team.”

Trumbull wasn’t finished plating runners and scored five more times in the bottom of the third inning.

This time it was Brown’s turn to get the inning rolling and she did that with a single up the middle. After a wild pitch moved Brown to second, an error by the Nonnewaug shortstop put junior Marisa Valenti on base and moved Brown to third.

Back-to-back hits by both Kaczegowicz and Clark gave Trumbull a combined three more runs.

With one out, Thompson laced a liner past the Nonnewaug shortstop and Clark came around to score when Thompson fired a liner to center. The Eagles scored one more run off an error by the second baseman to extend the lead to 15-1.

The Chiefs were able to score two more runs in the top of the fifth, but Trumbull was able to stop the Nonnewaug scoring and end the game via mercy rule.

“When they see one girl adjust, they are smart enough where the second girl would adjust and so would the third girl,” Nadel said. “We preach that when you come back in, talk to the next batter before she gets into the box to let her know what you saw. They are also focused and paying attention on the bench, as well as in the field.”

THS starting pitcher Szabo had a solid outing. After getting a little rattled in the first inning, taking a liner to the stomach, Szabo gave up one run in three innings of work. She finished with three strikeouts and gave up only four hits. Valenti came in for relief to start the fourth inning and gave up two runs and had three strikeouts.

“Ally got hit and she’s going to have ball stitches on her stomach,” Nadel said. “There was no difference in the way she pitched after she got hit. We just took some extra time to make sure she was good. Her fastball was good and the offspeed was keeping batters off-balance.”

The victory pushed Trumbull’s record to a perfect 3-0 on the season, as they upended both New Canaan and Newtown earlier last week.

“I can’t be too displeased with a 3-0 start,” Nadel said. “Now we take it one game at a time. We just want to try and make it 4-0 and after that we will worry about Norwalk on Friday. It’s one game at a time with these girls.”