Top 10 Storylines
1. And then there were two
Plot line: Fitch and Cheshire, ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the Register/GameTimeCT Top 10 Poll, are the state’s two remaining unbeaten teams.
Unfortunately, the No. 1 ranking will not be decided on the field. Cheshire is in Class LL, while the Falcons are in Class L.
Fitch is led by senior pitcher Caroline Taber, the reigning Gatorade state player of the year, and junior catcher Taylor Wolfgang, who has already committed to play at Bucknell. The two already own a state crown after winning Class L in 2014.
You should know: Fitch will attempt to win its third title.
In addition to 2014, the Falcons won Class LL in 2009, defeating Masuk and pitcher Rachele Fico 1-0 in Fico’s final high school game.
2. Ram Tough
Plot Line: Speaking of Cheshire, the Rams survived the gauntlet called the SCC unscathed. Cheshire went 20-0 during the regular season and won three games en route to the conference tournament championship, its first league crown since 2002.
Along the way, the Rams defeated both Lauralton Hall and Amity three times and defending Class L champ East Haven and SCC semifinalist Hand twice.
Cheshire is led by junior pitcher Abby Abramson, the SCC player of the year, and junior third baseman Hannah Salvietti, who was named the most valuable player of the SCC tournament.
You should know: Cheshire lost to Southington in last year’s Class LL final. The Rams have been to the state final five times overall but are in search of their first title.
3. Thunder Birds
Plot line: North Branford has already made plenty of noise this year, but it hopes to finish the season with a Class M title. The Thunderbirds recently won their second straight Shoreline Conference tournament championship.
North Branford (22-1) did not lose a game in the SLC this year. Its lone loss was to SCC member Sheehan, 1-0 on May 12.
The Thunderbirds feature senior Lindsay Golia, the SLC pitcher of the year, and senior catcher Sabrina LeMere, named the SLC player of the year.
That’s in addition to senior center fielder Meghan Golia, senior shortstop Haley Basil, junior third baseman Emily Muzyka and sophomore utility player Olivia Hemstock.
You should know: North Branford has yet to win a state title. It’s lone appearance in a championship game came in 1975.
4. Wild Cats
Plot line: Seymour is synonymous with postseason success. The Wildcats have won nine state titles, most recently in 2014. Seymour has advanced to at least the state quarterfinals every year since 1998.
Senior pitcher Raeanne Geffert, one of the state’s best, guided the Wildcats to that state title in 2014, in addition to two NVL tournament titles, including one this year.
Sophomore Becca Johnson is a dangerous left-handed slap hitter. Johnson, named the MVP of the NVL tournament, is the Wildcats’ lead off batter.
You should know: Seymour has played for a state title 16 times, including nine times since 2000.
5. SCC Invitational?
Plot line: Class L is loaded with teams from the SCC, including East Haven, the defending champion.
In addition, fellow league members Foran, Lauralton Hall, Hand, Sheehan, North Haven, Mercy, Sacred Heart Academy and Law are also in this class. Foran/Law, Hand/Guilford and Mercy/East Haven square off in the first round.
East Haven senior pitcher Laura Anderson was hit by a line drive in the shin in a loss to Amity in the SCC tournament quarterfinals.
Once thought to be a serious injury, Anderson has recovered well and practiced this weekend. East Haven coach Ed Crisafi says it’s very likely Anderson will be ready to pitch for its first-round contest with Mercy.
East Haven has played in two straight state championship games. The Easties defeated Fitch last season in the final and lost to Seymour in Class M in 2014.
You should know: The championship won by East Haven last season was its first since 1984.
6. Devil of a Time
Plot line: With 10 state titles, Coginchaug is the most decorated Class S team in state history. But in two of the past three seasons, the Blue Devils have moved up to Class M, where they have not advanced past the second round.
Coginchaug is again in Class M this year, and has a first-round clash with fellow SLC member Haddam-Killingworth. Should the Blue Devils advance, they will face the winner between Woodland and Rocky Hill.
Coginchaug entered this season with a young and inexperienced squad, but the Blue Devils still reached the SLC tournament final before losing to North Branford. Coginchaug has been led by senior pitcher Gabby Diaz and junior infielder Destiny Helmadach.
You should know: Coginchaug last won a state title in 2012.
7. At Attention
Plot line: St. Joseph has yet to lose a game to a state team this season.
The Cadets’ lone loss came to Notre Dame Lawrenceville out of New Jersey on April 17. Since, St. Joseph has won 17 straight games, including its third straight FCIAC tournament championship.
Now, the Cadets will try to reach the Class M state championship game for the second straight year. St. Joe’s lost to Oxford in last year’s final.
Led by senior pitcher Nicole Williams, junior catcher Jovanna Hillman, senior left fielder Lauren Blose, junior first baseman Melissa Bike and sophomore Hanna Hutchinson, the Cadets certainly have the talent to win the title that eluded them last season.
You should know: St. Joseph has won five titles in nine championship game appearances.
8. On a Crusade
Plot line: Lauralton Hall has reached the quarterfinals and semifinals in consecutive seasons in Class L.
This year’s edition has the talent to make another lengthy tournament run. The Crusaders are the No. 7 seed and face Farmington the first round.
Laurlaton Hall could see SCC foe North Haven in the second round and Masuk or Barlow, both out of the SWC, in the quarterfinals. The Crusaders moved over to the SCC from the SWC last season.
Lauralton Hall senior pitcher Ireland Miessau has been one of the state’s best this year. Junior shortstop Christiana Cottrell is the Crusaders’ leadoff batter. She can hit for singles or for power, and her speed as been an asset all season. Lauralton Hall recently lost to Cheshire in the SCC tournament championship game.
You should know: Lauralton Hall has won three state titles, most recently in 2008.
9. Far from Rocky
Plot line: Rocky Hill is in the midst of an outstanding campaign. The Terriers enter the Class M tournament with an 18-1 record. Their only loss was a 3-2 setback to Southington on May 10.
Rocky Hill has defeated Maloney (twice), Middletown, South Windsor and Tolland, all considered top teams in the CCC. The Terriers are led by senior pitcher Jess Greenspan and senior shortstop Julie Slavin.
You should know: Rocky Hill won its lone state title in 2012.
10. Have Mercy
Plot line: It’s been an up-and-down season for traditional power Mercy. The Tigers finished the regular season at 9-11 and did not qualify for the SCC tournament. Mercy has lost six of its last seven.
Still, there’s some talent on the Tigers’ roster, including senior pitcher Bri Sawicki, senior shortstop Tiff Mangiameli and juniors Michelle Theilgard and Danielle Lajoie.
Mercy could be a spoiler in Class L, although it must visit defending champ East Haven in the first round.
You should know: Mercy has won two state titles, most recently in 2006.
Top 5 Players to Watch
Beth Fleming, Norwich Free Academy
Fleming, a junior, is, perhaps, the state’s most underrated pitcher. She guided the Wildcats to a 16-4 regular season record and an appearance in the ECC tournament championship game. Three of NFA’s five losses were to No. 1 Fitch, losing one-run games in all three contests.
Adriana Gambino, Westhill
The senior hit and pitched the Vikings to an upset of Seymour in the regular season finale on may 19. Led by Gambino, Westhill, seeded No. 3 in Class LL, is one of the state’s most explosive teams offensively.
Genna Hartman, East Granby
The junior, who has already committed to Stonehill, is one of the top pitchers in the Class S field. She did not allow a run in a 2-0 win over Granby to help the Crusaders win the NCCC tournament championship.
Katie Laaksonen, Newtown
The senior third baseman recently guided the Nighthawks to their second straight SWC tournament championship. Newtown advanced to the Class LL quarterfinals last season. The Nighthawks have the talent to take the next step this year.
Peyton Silverman, South Windsor
The Bobcats were ranked in the preseason Top 10 Poll but lost three of four to open the season. South Windsor has since righted the ship, mainly due to Silverman, who has committed to play at North Carolina State. The Bobcats enter the Class LL tournament on a nine-game winning streak. South Windsor faces New Milford in the first round and could meet Amity in the second.
- Overview: No. 2 Southington is in search of a fourth straight title. The Blue Knights have kind of flown under the radar since losing to Fitch 2-0 on April 25. That loss snapped a 77-game winning streak, one shy of tying the state record. Still, Southington remains a dangerous team, one capable of winning the title again. Unbeaten, and No. 1, Cheshire is the prohibitive favorite, but this class is always highly competitive and anything can happen on the road to the finals.
- Upsets on the horizon: No. 17 Stamford over No. 16 Danbury and No. 18 Ridgefield over No. 15 Newington in the first round.
- Final Four: Cheshire, No. 5 NFA, Southington, No. 6 Amity.
- Champion: Cheshire over Southington.
- Overview: No. 1 Fitch will attempt to reach the final for third straight year. The Falcons lost to East Haven in last year’s championship game after defeating Sacred Heart Academy for the crown in 2014. Fitch could meet No. 9 East Haven in this year’s quarterfinals.
- Upsets on the horizon: Hand over Guilford, Sacred Heart Academy over No. 8 RHAM and North Haven over No. 10 East Lyme in the first round.
- Final Four: Fitch, No. 4 Torrington, Lauralton Hall, No. 3 Maloney.
- Champion: Fitch over Lauralton Hall.
- Overview: This class features heavyweights No. 1 St. Joseph, No. 3 Seymour, No. 4 North Branford and No. 5 Rocky Hill. One of those teams should emerge as champion, although don’t count out No. 6 Granby, which lost in the final in both 2013 and 2012.
- Upsets on the horizon: No. 18 University over No. 15 Kaynor Tech and No. 22 Watertown over No. 11 Platt Tech in the first round.
- Final Four: St. Joseph, North Branford, No. 10 Stonington, Seymour.
- Champion: St. Joseph over Seymour.
- Overview: There’s a very good chance that No. 1 Holy Cross and No. 2 Thomaston will play for the title in a rematch of last year’s championship game won by Holy Cross. No. 3 Wamogo and No. 4 East Granby also have the talent to claim the title, as does No. 6 Notre Dame- Fairfield, coached by Jeff Bevino, who win a state title with Foran in 2011.
- Upsets on the horizon: No. 20 Hale Ray over No. 13 Windsor Locks, No. 28 Lyman Memorial over No. 5 Capital Prep, No. 21 Somers over No. 12 MLC, No. 26 Parish Hill over No. 7 Waterbury Career and No. 19 Putnam over No. 14 Ellis Tech in the first round.
- Final Four: Holy Cross, East Granby, Thomaston, Wamogo.
- Champion: Thomaston over Holy Cross.