Cheshire took a 4-0 lead on SCC rival Amity in the fourth inning in the Class LL state championship game Saturday.
That was the same score in which Cheshire led Southington in last season’s championship game before the Blue Knights rallied for a 5-4 victory.
There was no comeback by the opponent this time.
Cheshire scored another run in the sixth en route to a 5-0 victory over Amity that earned the Rams their first state title. Cheshire finished unbeaten at 27-0.
“We definitely remember what happened last year,” Cheshire junior pitcher Abby Abramson said. “That was going through our minds, but we knew we weren’t the same team from last year. We took that experience and we definitely learned from it.”
The Rams had lost in their previous five trips to the championship game.
“We went until the huddle once we got up 4-0,” Abramson said, “and we said ‘guys, we know that we were in this situation last year and it’s not happening again’. We were going to fight for this, we worked so hard for this, and we (weren’t) letting it slip away again. We just tried to keep everything small.”
Abramson allowed four hits, walked one and struck out seven. She was named the final’s most valuable player.
Junior third baseman Hannah Salvietti drove in the eventual winning run with a double with one out in the fourth inning.
“Last year we got a bunch of hits and got on top of Southington, and I think we got relaxed a bit,” Salvietti said. “This game, we knew we had to stay in it the entire game and not let up.”
The championship game victory was the fourth time Cheshire defeated Amity this season. The Rams also defeated Class L quarterfinalist Lauralton Hall three times and SCC powers East Haven, Hand and Mercy twice during the regular season, in addition to a victory over the ECC’s Norwich Free Academy in the Class LL semifinals.
“We never took any team or any game for granted,” Cheshire coach Kristine Drust said. “They were just willing to work. They worked.”
WHAT A CAREER
Seymour senior Raeanne Geffert finished her career with some impressive numbers.
Geffert won two state championships, including a 1-0 victory over Rocky Hill in Friday’s Class M final. Geffert also guided the Wildcats to the Class M title in 2014, and pitched Seymour to two NVL tournament titles, including one this season, during her career.
Geffert tallied 150 career hits, more than 100 career RBIs and struck out more than 1,000 batters.
“Everything and more,” Geffert said when reflecting on her career. “I didn’t expect to make it back here (to a state final) a second time. I really measured my high school (career) in state championships and NVL titles, and getting back to these games was my high school career. I am so happy that we finally won it in my senior year.”
Geffert, who is headed to Bucknell, allowed just three hits, one walk and struck out 13 against Rocky Hill. She also drove in the game’s only run with a single in the first inning.
Beginning next season, the SCC will feature four new divisions for softball.
North (Cheshire, Foran, Law, Guilford, Career)
West (Amity, Mercy, Sacred Heart Academy, Shelton, Hamden)
South (Lauralton Hall, Sheehan, North Haven, Lyman Hall, Wilbur Cross)
East (East Haven, Hand, West Haven, Branford, Hillhouse)