GameTimeCT/NH Register Preseason Softball Top 10 Poll: Masuk is No. 1

Masuk celebrates after winning last season's Class L state championship. The Panthers are No. 1 in the GameTimeCT/NH Register preseason softball poll.

Masuk celebrates after winning last season’s Class L state championship. The Panthers are No. 1 in the GameTimeCT/NH Register preseason softball poll.

Team                                            Points           Last         Class
1. Masuk (27-0) (14)                 504              1               L

Last season: Defeated Foran 3-2 to win Class L state championship.
Opening day: at Westhill, Wednesday, 4:15 p.m.
Bottom line: The Panthers have the state’s best player returning in senior pitcher Tatum Buckley. Add in a solid supporting cast and Masuk is the favorite to repeat in Class L.

2. Mercy (23-5) (3)                 435               3                LL

Last season: Lost to Southington 1-0 in Class LL state championship game.
Opening day: vs. Cheshire, Wednesday, 3:45 p.m.
Bottom line: The Tigers return almost their entire lineup from last season. Translation: Mercy is a legitimate Class LL contender.

3. Foran (22-6)                        414                 4                 L

Last season: Lost to Masuk 3-2 in Class L state championship game.
Opening day: at Branford, Wednesday, 4 p.m.
Bottom line: The Lions have advanced to the Class L final for the past three seasons. With pitcher Jess Harkness and first baseman Fallon Bevino among Foran’s returnees, a fourth straight trip is certainly a possibility.

4. Southington (24-1)         404                 2                 LL

Last season: Defeated Mercy 1-0 to win Class LL state championship.
Opening day: at Wethersfield, Wednesday, 4:15 p.m.
Bottom line: The Blue Knights added to their record by winning a 15th state championship last season.

5. Bristol Central (21-3)    326                  8                  LL

Last season: Lost to Mercy 9-2 in Class LL semifinals.
Opening day: at Rocky Hill, Wednesday, 3:45 p.m.
Bottom line: The Rams have the talent to win their first state title since 1985. Bristol Central recently lost in the Class LL final in 2001, 2004 and 2005.

6. Oxford (22-3)                  310                 5                     M

Last season: Defeated Terryville 1-0 to win Class S state championship.
Opening day: vs. Kaynor Tech, Wednesday, 3:45 p.m.
Bottom line: Junior pitcher Ashley Guillette returns, which makes the Wolverines contenders to win Class M a year after capturing Class S title.

7. Torrington (23-1)          300               NR                 L

Last season: Lost to Bunnell 1-0 in Class L second round.
Opening day: at St. Paul, Wednesday, 3:45 p.m.
Bottom line: The Red Raiders have the talent to make a serious run in Class L.

8. Berlin (20-4)                   234                10                  L

Last season: Lost to Masuk 2-1 in Class L semifinals.
Opening day: at Tolland, Wednesday, 3:45 p.m.
Bottom line: The Redcoats committed an error which allowed the eventual winning run to score against Masuk in last year’s Class L semifinals. Berlin returns a slew of starters, and is poised to make another deep tournament run.

9. Waterford (22-6)         192                  6                    M

Last season: Defeated Granby 6-3 to win Class M state championship.
Opening day: at Fitch, Thursday, 4 p.m.
Bottom line: The Lancers were seeded 12th last season but defeated No. 5 St. Joseph, No. 1 Suffield and No. 2 Granby to claim the championship.

10. Seymour (21-4)        181                  NR                M

Last season: Lost to East Haven 1-0 (8) in Class M quarterfinals.
Opening day: at Wilby, Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.
Bottom line: The Wildcats return one of the state’s best players in senior second baseman Katie Petroski.

Dropped out: Maloney (7), Rockville (9).

First-place votes in parentheses and points tabulated on a 30-28-26-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7 basis.

Others receiving votes: Maloney (20-3), 180; East Haven (21-5), 166; Lauralton Hall (19-4), 136; St. Joseph (19-5), 113; Granby (21-2), 82; East Lyme (21-3), 78; Hand (19-5), 51; Darien (19-6), 42; Terryville (19-4), 35; Rockville (20-2), 31; Haddam-Killingworth (20-6), 22; Fitch (17-8), 12; North Haven (14-9) and Stonington (18-5), 11; Griswold (17-7), New Canaan (17-7) and Sheehan (12-11), 10; Cheshire (15-6), Fairfield Ludlowe (16-8) and Sacred Heart Academy (11-10), 9; Suffield (21-2), 8.

The following voted: Amanda Acampora, Lauralton Hall; Mary Albl, Fairfield Minuteman; Marc Allard, Norwich Bulletin; Scott Aresco, Maloney; Doug Bonjour, Connecticut Post; Tony Calcagni, Mercy; George DeMaio, WELI; Vickie Fulkerson, The Day of New London; Mike Madera, Elm City Newspapers; Ken Pereiras, Seymour; Mike Pucci, New Haven Register; Lori Riley, Hartford Courant; Mike Suppe, Hersam-Acorn; Liz Sutman, Waterford; Peter Vander Veer, Hersam-Acorn; Peter Wallace, Register Citizen; Jimmy Zanor, Middletown Press.

Poll compiled by: Mike Pucci.

Softball 2014

 

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