NVL Champs

Andarowski leads Watertown to NVL softball title

NAUGATUCK – Simply put it was a big-time performance by a big-time player on the biggest of Naugatuck Valley League softball nights.

There was no answer for Watertown’s Nadia Andarowski Wednesday night.  She did it with her powerful right arm. She did it with her powerful bat. She seized the moment and by the time day had given way to night Watertown owned the NVL title with a 1-0 victory over a feisty Woodland team at Naugatuck High.

In earning the game’s Most Valuable Player Award, Andarowski scattered three hits and struck out nine, including the side in the seventh inning, and walked just two.  The precious one run that was preserved over the final five innings came off of Andarowski’s bat, a titanic shot over the left field fence into the baseball field, an Uber ride from home plate. She also smacked a laser line drive off the left center field fence for a double.

Andarowski’s gem of a night came as no surprise. After all the hard-throwing hurler earned NVL Pitcher of the Year honors while posting a 0.79 ERA and striking out 205 batters enroute to a 14-2 record. The bat, like the arm has always been lethal (.435, 32 RBI). But, it was a case of leaving one more lasting memory in her final NVL game.

“Don’t great players step up in big moments?” Watertown coach Keith Borkowski said.

“She is a fantastic pitcher,” Woodland coach Loren Luddy said. “We had a couple of our big hitters fooled by her riseball today and we’re not used to them doing that.”

While pleased with her performance, the realization of Watertown winning its first title since 1997 was upper most in Andarowski’s mind. A permanent memory for the Adelphi University-bound hurler.

“It makes me really proud. I’m just really proud of our team over all, “Andarowski said as she gathered herself for a moment. “I’m just proud of how we’ve kept our composure throughout the entire time and just overall we’ve come so far as a team and I’m really proud of everybody.”

Woodland’s Ella Van Alstyne was the toughest of tough-luck losers, pitching an outstanding game in defeat. She allowed just five hits while striking out eight. One pitch was the difference and it was a good pitch.

Andarowski picked out the pitch in the lower half of the zone and hit her moon shot to lead off the second inning. Only two Watertown runners reached second base the rest of the game.

“She was on. She hit every spot,” Luddy said.

Woodland (19-4) managed some good swings against Andarowski with its best threat coming in the third inning. Paige Chiaramonte walked and reached second on a passed ball. With one out Julia Rowley also walked. Andarowski, however, responded by coaxing Van Alstyne to foul out to third base and striking out Breanna Thurston.

The Hawks did get the lead-off runner on in the sixth inning when Van Alstyne put down a bunt single. But she was gunned out at second base trying to steal by catcher Sophia Angiolini.

Andarowski was not fazed by the slim one-run lead.

“No matter what, I’m pitching knowing that I have a defense behind me,” Andarowski said. “These girls have worked very hard for what they have accomplished and that’s what gives me my confidence is the people behind me, the coaches behind me and the players behind me.”

Borkowski basked in the glow of a championship night.

“The kid (Andarowski) controlled the game on the mound and (Angiolini) behind the plate is great,” Borkowski said. “And we played defense. We beat a very high level opponent. Woodland is an awesome program. This group is the best working group I’ve had in a while. We’ve been in this game before over the years we just didn’t win. This year we knew we had to work on some things and we corrected them.”

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