WOLCOTT >> No. 1 Torrington beat No. 5 Naugatuck 6-0 in an NVL Softball Tournament semifinal game at Wolcott High School Wednesday evening.
With wind chills in the high 40s, the Red Raiders (21-0) sloughed off the chill like a team on a mission.
The Greyhounds (15-7) posed Torrington its toughest games of the season, with a 3-0 loss at Torrington early this month and a 4-2 challenge last week at Naugatuck.
Not Wednesday, no matter what the temperature.
“I don’t ever think about it, whether it’s 90 or 30,” said Torrington’s all-world pitcher, Sydney Matzko (7 innings, 2 hits, 14 strikeouts, 1 walk). “I don’t let that get to me.”
Neither do this year’s Torrington hitters.
The difference between this game and last week’s against the Greyhounds?
“Intensity,” said Brittany Anderson (2-for-4), who scored the Raiders’ first run in the first inning, then came back for a solo home run in the fifth.
“We wanted it,” said Marissa Morris (3-for-3).
If the focus grew because the Torrington season ended on this same Wolcott field a year ago, so much the better.
This team, undefeated again, is hungrier.
“We wanted to come right out of the chute,” said Coach Maryann Musselman. “We wanted to score first.”
Torrington scored first, then again, in the first inning.
With a 2-0 lead and Matzko on the mound, that’s a tough comeback for anyone.
“She’s a great pitcher. Torrington’s a great team. They’re gelling together at just the right time,” said Naugatuck coach Kevin Wesche. “We did the same thing today as we did last week — just trying to make something happen.”
Wednesday, the Raiders controlled all the happenings.
Greyhounds Kara Klimaszewski (ground-out) and Gillian Fortier (single) got their bats on Matzko pitches in the first inning. Matzko’s second strikeout of the game left Fortier on first.
“I made adjustments as I went along,” said Matzko.
In the bottom of the inning, Torrington batters pounced immediately.
Anderson dropped a single into left field.
Nikki Jamieson bunted her to second.
Matzko (2-for-3) pounded an RBI double to the left field fence.
Morris lined an RBI single, 2-0 Torrington, as pinch runner Dakotah Manson crossed the plate.
Naugatuck’s Kait Barry beat out an infield single in the second.
The hit prompted two more Matzko strikeouts that inning, the end of Greyhound base runners for the game.
Torrington waited two more innings to strike again.
In the bottom of the fourth, Morris led off with a single.
Sam Pelow beat out a bunt.
Morris was out trying for an extra base. No matter this game.
Alexis Tyrrell (2-for-3) erased the disappointment with an RBI triple.
Sara Heath made sure with an RBI single, 4-0.
At 4-0, Matzko on the mound, it’s money in the bank.
Still, the Raiders kept coming.
Anderson towered her shot over the left center field fence leading off in the Torrington fifth.
In the seventh, Tyrrell started with a single.
Heath replaced her with a fielder’s choice.
Alexa Potter (2-for-3) moved her to third with her second double of the game.
A groundout by Brittany Young got Heath in with the final run of the day.
“We clicked more today,” smiled Matzko.
The win sets up No. 1 Torrington against No. 2 Seymour Friday at a time and place to be decided today.
The clash is also important for the GameTimeCT state softball poll; Torrington is ranked second, Seymour, third.
No. 1 Torrington 6, No. 5 Naugatuck 0
At Wolcott High School
Naugatuck 000 000 0—0 2 0
Torrington 200 211 x—6 13 0
WP: Sydney Matzko. LP: Jenna Miller. HR: T—Brittany Anderson. 3B: T—Alexis Tyrrell. 2B: T—Matzko; Alexa Potter 2.
Records: Naugatuck 15-7; Torrington 21-0
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