Newtown High School’s softball team begins the season with a new leader. Coach Tara Allegretto is filling in for Bob Guererra, out with a short-term medical issue, this spring. Allegretto, who is a coach in the NHS volleyball program, was an assistant with the softball team two seasons ago.
Allegretto’s biggest objective is for the players to make improvements as the season unfolds.
The Nighthawks went 10-10 last spring and were eliminated in the first round of the state tournament after an opening-round exit from the South-West Conference tourney.
“It would be nice to make it deeper into the playoffs,” said Allegretto, whose team brings a fair amount of varsity experience back to the diamonds.
The team lost a trio of players to graduation, but brings back much of last year’s lineup, led by senior captains Courtney Escoda (right fielder) and Jess Gibbons (center fielder).
Other key players back in the mix are catcher Emily Woznick, first baseman Dani Shine, shortstop/third baseman Kayla O’Grady, and shortstop/third baseman Mikayla Kuligowski.
Gibbons was a standout hitter last year, and Shine is off to a solid start (8-for-15) this season.
“We’ve got a nice group of solid hitters. We’ve got a nice middle/beginning of the lineup,” Allegretto said.
In the pitching circle, Gillian Gallante returns after taking on the starting role as a freshman last year, and her backup is freshman Lauren Wilcox.
The Nighthawks, after jamming in six games in a week to start the campaign, head to Orlando, Fla., for six scrimmages in a handful of days during their school vacation week. They resume South-West Conference play with a visit to Weston on April 18, and will host Oxford the next day.