Torrington tops Seymour for NVL Softball Crown
The Torrington High softball team captured the NVL title Wednesday with a 3-1 victory over Seymour at Wolcott High. Sydney Matzko struck out 11 and was named the game's MVP and Nicole Jameson added an RBI single.
WOLCOTT - A year has made a big difference for the Torrington High School softball team.
Older, wiser and flat out better, the Red Raiders continued their march through the Naugatuck Valley League with a 3-1 victory over perennial power Seymour on Wednesday evening in the NVL Championship game at Wolcott High.
Last season Seymour won the league title with a 1-0 victory over a talented but less experienced Torrington squad. with just about everyone back, the Red Raiders were ready to replace the Wildcats as the NVL's best.
"It feels great. We wanted it and worked for it and today the way the girls played, they went out and took it," Torrington coach Maryann Musselman said.
Sydney Matzko continued her stellar junior season with 11 strikeouts en route to the game's MVP award. Nicole Jamieson added an RBI single and Torrington took advantage of Seymour's mistakes to win its first league crown in nearly 30 years.
"It's what we worked for and it feels great," Matzko said. "I am so proud of everyone and so happy. Everyone really picked up their games for this one and all of our hard work paid off."
The Red Raiders (23-0) took the lead in the bottom of the third. Brittany Anderson lined a hard single to center with two outs to bring up Jamieson. Anderson then stole second and went to third on an overthrow giving Jamieson a great opportunity to give the Red Raiders an early lead.
Jamieson took advantage with a single to left to make it 1-0 and give Torrington some momentum.
"When Brittany stole second and got to third, I was just thinking I have to get one down," Jamieson said. "Getting that first run was huge."
Seymour almost got the first run of the game in the second but had a runner thrown out at the plate to end the inning after a Torrington throwing error. Seymour coach Ken Pereiras pleaded his case with the plate umpire but to no avail.
"Sydney is just so tough, she's a dominant pitcher and I was hoping we could put a run up and put a little pressure on them," Pereiras said. "I didn't think the catcher made the tag but what can you do. Torrington is a great team and has a great pitcher in Matzko."
Matzko worked around a leadoff single in the fourth and struck out the side in the fifth. The Wildcats went down in order in the sixth and the Red Raiders then added to their lead.
Torrington catcher Marissa Morris led off the sixth by ripping a double down the third base line and Matzko was pitched around, walking on four pitches to put runners at first and second. That brought up Brittany Young, who laid down a nice sacrifice bunt and was thrown out at first. Seymour tried to catch Torrington sleeping on the base paths and threw to third, but the ball went out of play and both Red Raiders scored to push the lead to 3-0.
The extra runs would come in handy as Seymour might be second best in the NVL this year, but was not willing to hand over its crown without a fight.
Carissa Wasikowski hit a solo home run to center to lead off the seventh and cut the lead to 3-1. Matzko hit the next two batters, uncharacteristic for her, and all of a sudden the go-ahead run was at the plate with no outs.
A sac bunt put Wildcats on second and third with one out but Matzko recovered for two more strikeouts to end the game and give the Red Raiders the title.
"Sydney is awesome we couldn't do it without her and she couldn't do it without the players in the field," Musselman said. "We knew Seymour wasn't going to just give it to us. Everybody did their job and we did it. It's awesome."