There is light at the end of the tunnel for the Shepaug Valley High School girls' softball team.
The Spartans hadn't won a game in more than a month when they took the field Wednesday in Litchfield vs. Wamogo. Still, coach Steve Pickett's diamond squad had made considerable progress in recent weeks.
Back-to-back wins over Litchfield, 1-0, and Gilbert, 3-2, in early April temporarily raised hopes for a winning season at Ayer Field in Washington Depot.
Yet the reality of inexperience and lack of depth kicked in soon thereafter as the Spartans succumbed to Berkshire League foes by such scores as 7-0, 10-0 and 16-1.
Through the first dozen games, coach Pickett's bat crew had mustered just 12 runs. Even with impressive pitching by frosh Kelsey Johnson, the leadership of senior Brittany Hartman and improving defense, that wasn't going to get it done.
The past two weeks have seen a marked upgrade, however, during tight defeats to Litchfield,, 6-3, Gilbert, 3-1, and Lewis Mills, 7-5 (see photos).
At 2-13, the Spartans were hopeful of securing another win or two before closing the book on the 2012 campaign.
The girls are slated to visit Wolcott Tech today (Friday) in Torrington and travel Monday to Falls Village to challenge Housatonic Valley Regional before finishing with home games Tuesday vs. Weston and Wednbesday vs. Northwestern.
For more photos, check www.newmilfordspectrum.com.