WEST HAVEN >> Cheshire junior pitcher Abby Abramson once again dominated. There was clutch hitting by the Rams and flawless defense.
The fourth meeting between Cheshire and Amity looked similar to the first three contests between the SCC rivals.
Except this time, a state championship was on the line.
Abramson allowed just four hits, and the top-seeded Rams scored four times in the fourth inning en route to a 5-0 victory over the No. 6 Spartans in the Class LL state championship game Saturday at Biondi Field.
The Rams (27-0) also capped an unbeaten season by winning their first state title. Cheshire lost in its previous five trips to the final, including last season to Southington.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Abramson said. “We never had a state championship before for softball. We’re so proud and thankful to be able to do this for our school and our program.”
Abramson cleanly fielded a grounder and threw over to first for the game’s final out. She walked two, struck out seven and was named the championship game’s most valuable player.
“It’s so surreal,” Abramson said. “I, honestly, didn’t even believe it was happening when we won. But, again, I had to think back to all the hard work we put in from August through the offseason, and in every single practice and every single game. These girls, we deserve it so much.”
Locked in a scoreless game, Abramson drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning. Courtesy runner Kinsey Ratchelous was then sacrificed to second and scored on junior Hannah Salvietti’s double to give Cheshire a 1-0 lead.
“I love doing anything I can for my team no matter what,” Salvietti said. “Being able to get that hit that we needed is what I am focusing on with every at-bat.”
Senior catcher Megan Hodgdon and freshman shortstop Mia Juodaitis each had RBI singles and senior designated player Alex Czarkosky drove in a run on sacrifice fly in the inning to give the Rams a 4-0 lead.
Cheshire led Southington by that same score before the Blue Knights rallied for a 5-4 win to capture the championship.
“It did (weigh on us),” Cheshire coach Kristine Drust said. “But we talked about it and we learned from our mistake. I think we let the sight of winning the championship enter our minds a little too early last year. So this year, we really took the field like it was 0-0 every inning and working on that next out, and just getting the next out, and just keeping the game a little smaller.”
The Rams scored on an error in the sixth inning to increase their lead to 5-0.
“They came ready to go, so did we,” Amity coach Sara Hale said. “We knew it was going to be a tough one. They were able to string the hits together, that inning was big for them. To have six hits on five runs, they were able to put it together.”
Juodaitis had two of her team’s six hits off Amity starter Katie Koshes, who walked four and struck out seven in 5.2 innings of work.
Nicole Koshes and Teresa Marchitto singled with one out in the top of the first inning, but Abramson worked two pop outs to end that threat.
Abramson walked Jenna Thomas to lead off the fifth. Thomas went to second on a ground out but was left stranded after an infield fly out.
Brooke Matysovsky singled to lead off the top of the seventh inning. She was sacrificed to second, but Abramson struck out the next batter and induced the ground out to end the game.
“We tried to relax a little bit,” Hale said. “We tried to stay loose. She makes us chase, and she made us chase today.”
CHESHIRE 5, AMITY 0
(at West Haven)
Amity 000 000 0 — 0 4 1
Cheshire 000 400 1 — 5 6 0
Katie Koshes and Teresa Marchitto; Abby Abramson and Megan Hodgdon.
WP: Katie Koshes. LP: Abby Abramson (27-0). 2B: (CH) Hannah Salvietti. RBI: Hannah Salvietti, Megan Hodgdon, Czarcosky, Mia Juodaitis (CH);
Team records: Amity 21-6; Cheshire 27-0.