Masuk Softball: Defending champs begin season on winning note

Natalie Lieto and the Panthers are looking to continue their run of playoff success this spring.

MONROE, CT — Masuk High’s softball team looks to continue to be competitive in the South-West Conference and in the Class L state field, with potential to keep their run of championships intact this spring.

The Panthers, going for their sixth consecutive SWC crown and fifth straight state title, bring back a wealth of talent led by captains: senior first baseman Ella Bunovsky and senior catcher Isabel Viglione.

Other key returning players are Natalie Lieto (junior center fielder), Julia Bacoulis (sophomore shortstop/pitcher), Sofia Lieto (sophomore second baseman).

“Only have three returning upper classmen, but all of our returning sophomores were a part of the success the team had last year and know exactly what they need to do and the work they need to put in order to win,” Coach Leigh Barone said.

“Some of our tough competitors in the SWC will be Newtown with most of their roster from last year returning, Brookfield, and Immaculate,” the coach added.

Non conference must-see games include Ludlowe (at Masuk on Wednesday, April 5, at 4:15 p.m. and on the road at Southington on Thursday, May 18.

Masuk got things going in winning fashion with a 10-0 over host Fairfield Warde on April 3. Bacoulis struck out 15 batters and allowed only one hit with no walks to lead the way.

Natalie Lieto was 3-for-3 with a single, double and triple to go along with three runs batted in. Viglione was 3-for-5 with two singles and a double and a pair of runs driven in.

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