Half-frozen Cardillo checking in here after Lauralton Hall’s 4-1 win over Trumbull Wednesday.
I’ll spare you the details but it was cold. Not arctic, but cold enough to warrant a couple layers, gloves and a winter cap.
Anyways, here’s some other leftover tidbits from the game.
For one, Lauralton Hall coach Theresa Napolitano is indeed retiring after this year. It’s going to be hard to think of high school softball in the area without her in the mix.
“I’ve been coaching, god, almost 30 years. It’s been a long time,” she said.
Lauralton Hall isn’t planning anything special or rallying around, “winning one for coach,” as some teams might do.
In a way, it’s fitting how this will be Napolitano’s final team. The Crusaders start five sophomores, leaving her with a final season to impart her years of knowledge on the team so they’ll be pointed in the right direction going forward.
There won’t be loads of pressure for the Crusaders to win a title, were they a senior-laden, veteran team. Instead Napolitano can simply go out and teach players and make them better.
Overall, the wind was blowing pretty hard, knocking balls down, so it’s hard to get a gauge on either team. Both looked rusty — like two teams who’d spent a lot of time practicing in a gym. Lauralton Hall had been outside on its second field, but Trumbull spent most of the two-plus weeks of practice inside.
Not that either team made excuses, but with the CIAC spring season starting so soon in April, a little bit of jitters for the first week is expected.
Trumbull coach Charlie Judge had an excellent quote after the game, something he imparted to his team as well:
“The truth of the matter is, the first seven years I was here I was in six (FCIAC) finals, the only year I wasn’t in the finals was probably the best team I’ve had at Trumbull we went 20-0 and we got beat. It’s probably a good thing. I don’t want to go 20-0.”
That undefeated Trumbull team lost to Staples in the FCIAC quarterfinals and was downed in the Class LL semifinals for its two losses.
The Eagles are young, much like the Crusaders so it might take them some time to find their footing, but Judge says the players have the right attitude going foward.
One other observation.
Trumbull has the rare situation with a left-handed throwing catcher, Christie Costello.
She threw the one Lauralton Hall runner attempting to steal a base in the third.