It was a coming out party for then sophomore pitcher Sarah Lawton, who proved why she's not only one of the NVL's best in the circle, but one of the best in the state as well.
The Crusaders graduated six seniors from that title team: Liz Lombardo, Paige Hine, Casey DiZinno, Sydney McIldowie, Gianna Lagasse and Kristina Razza. All Holy Cross lost was an All-State shortstop, catcher, center fielder, right fielder and two reserves.
Yeah, that's all they lost.
One might think the Crusaders would come back to Earth a little bit.
Not a chance.
Holy Cross is 7-0 entering today's road game at Crosby (3:30 start). The Crusaders have beaten up on teams they should handle, but they have also been tested, and passed those exams. Holy Cross' first three wins of the season were against Oxford, Torrington and Watertown. The Crusaders began a four-game week Monday with a 3-0 road win over Naugatuck, which has been a solid program.
Holy Cross is young, but don't let that fool you. This team is talented, and tough.
"These girls have stepped up," second-year head coach Megan Dwyer said after her team's 15-0 mercy rule win at home over Kennedy on Tuesday.
It can be tough to stay focused when you're supposed to win. Holy Cross quickly took care of Kennedy on Tuesday though, scoring nine times in the first two innings. In the circle, Lawton was her usual shutdown self.
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junior standout Sarah Lawton, but sophomore
Nicole Strielkauskas is also solid in the circle.
"They're both very good pitchers," Dwyer said.
There are four seniors to lead the way -- Lindsay Barton, Mackenzie Dolishny, Becca Anderson and Lauren Dwyer. Barton, Dolishny and Anderson are all captains.
There are also experienced juniors like Lawton and Aubry DeFoe.
"They're playing well, they're a team that works really hard," Megan Dwyer said.
Freshman Hannah Brown singled twice, tripled and scored a run. Sophomore Alexandra Lombardo had a double and triple and freshman Valerie Nobrega added a single and double. Three young players, four extra-base hits. Not a bad early day at the office (the game started at 11 a.m.).
"They're committed to making each other better every day," Dwyer said.
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to a young Holy Cross team.
That's a good thing, because there are still two games left to play in a busy week. Holy Cross is at Crosby today and hosts Wilby on Friday. The games may not be the same as a Torrington, Seymour, Oxford, Watertown or Woodland, but Dwyer wants her team ready.
"The biggest thing this week is to stay focused," Dwyer said.
Next week brings back-to-back big games on Monday and Tuesday against Woodland on the road and Seymour at home. First, the Crusaders need to get through this week. That shouldn't be a problem, given this team has been ready to play.
Holy Cross, ranked fourth in the most recent New Haven Register/GameTimeCT Top 10 poll, will find out just how good it is next week. The Crusaders can't overlook Woodland, but Seymour is ranked third in that Top 10 poll. Holy Cross ends another busy week next Friday on the road at St. Paul. It will be a tough week, but one that will only make this young team better.