The Woodstock Academy softball team had its chances in its final regular season game.
But, once again, just couldn’t cash in on them.
“That’s been the last few weeks,” said Woodstock Academy coach Jay Gerum. “Everybody has peaks and valleys in their season. We were playing so well for a while and, unfortunately, the valley came at the end of the season.”
The Centaurs lost their sixth straight game, 9-5, May 22 to Haddam-Killingworth.
The loss meant Woodstock Academy failed to qualify for the Class L state tournament and finished with a 7-13 record.
“It’s really sad, bittersweet, at the same time. I’ve played all four years that I’ve been here and it’s just so weird to think that it’s over. On to new chapters,” said Woodstock Academy senior Hannah Burgess.
The Centaurs were bothered by factors beyond their control, namely weather and injuries.
“It’s definitely been a tough season, but we tried our hardest. Some games didn’t go our way but we put everything we could out there,” Burgess said.
The outcome, according to Gerum, was also influenced by the schedule they played.
“We have a tough schedule. It’s ridiculous. When I look at the schedule every year, I can kind of go, ‘These are the games we should win or have a chance to win; these games will be tough and these will be borderline impossible.’ If I had to pick W’s and L’s, honestly, I was thinking 6-14. We upset Griswold. We’re close. We had a lot of 1-run games. We’re knocking on the door, but we still have a little more to go,” Gerum said.
The Centaurs did honor and later said goodbye to the seniors in their program which included Burgess, Hannah Chubbuck, Julianna Nuttall, Heather Converse and Maria Scandalito.
“I’m going to miss everybody. It was like a close family. I’m going to miss the coaches so much too,” Burgess said.
The game against the Cougars was supposed to be played May 20.
But a sudden downpour ended those hopes and Haddam-Killingworth had to make the hour-plus trek back to Woodstock from Higganum two days later.
The bus ride didn’t seem to bother them.
The Cougars (13-7) jumped out quickly to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
The Centaurs tied it in the bottom of the inning when Nuttall singled, stole second, and Converse knocked her in with a single.
Haddam-Killingworth scored four more runs in the top of the second.
“That was the game, really,” Gerum said. “Both teams played even, back-and-forth, couple runs here or there, but that inning was devastating and we had one of those in each of our last six games.”
The Centaurs chipped away a bit in the fourth.
Mackenzie Leveille singled and both Megan Preston and Hannah Chubbuck walked to load the bases with no one out.
Gabby Barnes, in her first game back since early in the season, pushed a run across with an RBI single. It was all Woodstock Academy could muster as Preston was thrown out attempting to score and Cougars relief pitcher Brooke LaTouche got a strikeout and a fly out to end the threat.
 Haddam-Killingworth regained the four run lead with a run in the top of the fifth that was equaled by Woodstock Academy in the bottom of the inning. Converse drove in her team-leading 25th run of the season with a triple.
Haddam-Killingworth added three more in the top of the sixth to put the contest out of reach.
“It sucks,” Gerum said of having to say goodbye to a strong senior class. “We have a couple of kids who play high-level softball, a couple who will be playing in college since they are at such a high level. Converse is an unbelievable athlete. Julianna Nuttall is not going to play in college, but has started at catcher for three or four years. She is one of the few catchers whom I have allowed to call her own pitches. We’re losing some great kids.”
But a nucleus will return. Gerum will have both his pitchers, Leveille and Preston, back next season.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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