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WEST HAVEN >> There was a bit of drama in the night semifinal between rivals Cheshire and Amity in the SCC tournament.
Fifth-seeded Amity scored once in the top of the sixth inning to cut the Rams’ lead to one.
But Hannah Salvietti quickly quieted the Spartans rally attempt. Salvietti hit a two-run home run in the bottom half of the inning to provide No. 1 Cheshire with some insurance. Junior pitcher Abby Abramson then sent Amity down in order in the seventh inning and the Rams moved on with a 4-1 victory at Biondi Field.
Cheshire (22-0) will face No. 2 Lauralton Hall, a 4-0 winner over No. 6 Hand in the other semifinal, in Saturday’s championship game, which will be played at 3 p.m. at the same site.
The Spartans (17-5) cut the Rams’ lead in half (2-1) on Morgan Perry’s RBI single with one out in the sixth.
But Abramson doubled with one out in the bottom of the inning and, after a pop out, Salvietti launched her home run over the center field fence. Salvietti’s home run came on a full count.
“It was just insurance runs,” Salvietti said. “I wasn’t really thinking, I was just focused on the next pitch.”
Cheshire lost to Amity in last year’s league semifinals. The Rams will make their first appearance in an SCC final since losing to Hand in 2010. Cheshire’s lone league title came in 2002.
“What we were talking about before this game was, we were doing it for our alumni,” Salvietti said. “After we lost this game last year, we were all so upset, especially the seniors who graduated, so we wanted to come out here and win it for them.”
Abramson allowed five hits, walked one and struck out 12. Abramson hit a two-run home run that cleared both fences and almost hit the high school to give her team a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Several site officials said it was the longest home run they’ve seen hit at the field.
“I’m just happy to help the team anyway I can,” Abramson said.
Amity pitcher Katie Koshes surrendered five hits, walked one and struck out eight. Koshes also walked and singled.
“She pitched a great game,” Amity coach Sara Hale said. “It was two pitches for her, unfortunately. But I still have all the confidence in the world in her, and she’s going to do great things for us.”
Lauralton Hall (18-4) advanced to the final for the second straight season. Crusaders pitcher Ireland Miessau allowed just two hits and two walks and struck out six.
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“We shut her down a little bit after the (regular season) finale,” Lauralton Hall coach Amanda Acampora said. “Our 20th game was last Thursday, so we shut her down a little bit. She’s thrown all 20 games. But she’s kept her head mentally in it, even though she hasn’t thrown really. She threw once. She threw yesterday, and she had one workout total since last Thursday. She kept her head mentally checked in, and I think that was the biggest part for her.”
Miessau did not allow a hit in six at-bats to Hollis Wivell and Maddy Yaggi, the top two batters in the Hand order. Both are dangerous left-handed slap hitters.
“It was very important, because those are the good hitters,” Miessau said. “It was important for us to get them out.”
Hand defeated Lauralton Hall 2-1 in the season opener, but the Crusaders won the rematch 9-0 in April 28.
“She (Miessau) did a great job,” Hand coach Mike Niekrash said. “She moved the ball around on us. I don’t think we had a comfortable at-bat against her all day.”
Ali Buller and Abby Geshwind had the only hits for the Tigers (12-10).
Kaitlyn Mingione drove in two runs, Emma Larke had an run-scoring double and Maura Keary drove in a run on a sacrifice fly for Lauralton Hall. Christiana Cottrell had three hits and a run in the win,
“It feels great,” Miessau said about a return trip to the SCC final. “To be pitching both years is pretty cool.”
CHESHIRE 4, AMITY 1
Amity 000 001 0 — 1 5 0
Cheshire 002 002 X — 4 5 0
Katie Koshes and Teresa Marchitto; Abby Abramson and Megan Hodgdon.
WP: Abby Abramson. LP: Katie Koshes. 2B: (AM) Dani Nordyk; (CH) Abby Abramson. Hr: Abby Abramson, Hannah Salvietti (CH); RBI: Perry (AM); Abramson (2), Salvietti (2) (CH);
Team records: Amity 17-5; Cheshire 22-0.
LAURALTON HALL 4, HAND 0
(at West Haven)
Hand 000 000 0 — 0 2 1
Lauralton Hall 102 001 X — 4 8 0
Abby Geshwind and Lilly Geshwind; Ireland Miessau and Maura Keary.
WP: Ireland Miessau. LP: Abby Geshwind. 2B: (LHA) Emma Larke. RBI: Emma Larke, Kaitlyn Mingione (2), Maura Keary (LHA);
Team records: Hand 12-10; Lauralton Hall 18-4.