It has been almost two years but softball is back, and the GameTimeCT Top 10 Poll along with it.
There are many unknowns entering this season after a lost 2020 spring, but that hasn’t stopped the voters from gathering whatever information they could to rank the top teams in 2021.
But, like every other sports major poll, opinions varied wildly. A whopping 38 teams received votes in the season-opening poll — seven of the Top 10 earned at least one first-place vote.
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Though Masuk earned the most points to hang onto the preseason top spot after taking home the Class L title in 2019, there are cases to be made for 2019 Class M champion Waterford (three first-place votes), Class LL champion Southington (3), Class L runner-up East Haven (1), Class LL semifinalists Trumbull (1) and Cheshire (1) and even Hall (1).
In short: Expect this poll to vary wildly as we progress through the 2021 season. We look forward to reacquainting ourselves with high school softball in what will likely be one of the most unpredictable and surprising seasons in recent memory.
2021 Preseason Top 10 Softball Poll
|TEAM (1st place votes)||2019 REC||PTS||LAST||CLASS|
|1. MASUK (2)||26-1||320||1||L|
|2019 Result: Def. East Haven 2-0 in Class L final.
Bottom Line: Masuk won its fifth state championship in 2019. Much of that crew is gone, of course. Returning shortstop Kaitlyn Welch and second baseman Jacie Hall both started two years ago and will look to defend their title.
|2. WATERFORD (3)||22-4||298||4||M|
|2019 Result: Defeated Seymour 6-5 to win the 2019 Class M title.
Bottom Line: Waterford went on a nice run in the state tournament to claim the M title. With P/SS Maddie Burrows at the helm as one of the top players in the state, Waterford is a top pick to make another run.
|3. EAST HAVEN (1)||15-10||290||8||L|
|2019 Result: Lost 2-0 to Masuk in the Class L Championship.
Bottom Line: Good news! Seven players return who started as either freshmen or sophomores on East Haven’s unexpected run as the No. 16 seed in the 2019 Class L tournament.
|4. ST. JOSEPH||23-1||274||6||L|
|2019 Result: Lost 2-0 to East Haven in the Class L second round.
Bottom Line: Entering the 2019 state tournament as the favorite, St. Joseph was derailed two years ago by the East Haven freight train. Hofstra-committed pitcher Lauren Wasinkowski and All-State selection shortstop Maddie FitzGerald will lead the way.
|5. TRUMBULL (1)||23-3||264||7||LL|
|2019 Result: Lost to Southington 5-2 in the 2019 Class LL Semifinals.
Bottom Line: MacKenzie Bruggerman’s powerful bat and D1 commit Cassi Barbato will bring experience to a Trumbull team that has consistently been a contender.
6. SOUTHINGTON (3)
|2019 Result: Def. NFA 7-6 in the 2019 Class LL Championship.
Bottom Line: Ranked the No. 2 team in the state when we last saw the Blue Knights. Two years removed from winning its first state title since 2015, Southington will look to defend its title with a different looking roster.
|7. CHESHIRE (1)||23-4||242||5||LL|
|2019 Result: Lost to NFA 4-2 in the Class LL semifinals.
Bottom Line: The Rams will return ace pitcher and 2019 All-State Selection Bri Pearson. If the new faces in the lineup can support her, Cheshire should make another run.
|8. HALL (1)||13-7||159||NR||LL|
|2019 Result: Lost to Glastonbury 9-4 in the 2019 Class LL opening round.
Bottom Line: Hall was not a top team in the 2019 season, but still put together a solid campaign. The Warriors look to do damage in 2021, however, behind Duke-bound ace Sophie Garner MacKinnon.
|2019 Result: Lost to Waterford 6-5 in the 2019 Class M Final.
Bottom Line: Having come so close in 2019, Seymour returns its big bat in Morgan Teodosio who was a second team All-State selection as a sophomore.
|2019 Result: Lost to Trumbull 7-2 in the 2019 Class LL second round.
Bottom Line: Word has it Amity has a strong core and should be among the top SCC teams this season.
|Dropped Out: Norwich Free Academy (3), South Windsor (9), North Haven (10).
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: Norwich Free Academy (21-5), 105; Daniel Hand (11-9), 73; Fairfield Ludlowe (16-5), 62; Coginchaug (20-7), 53; Joel Barlow (15-5), 39; North Haven (22-4), 35; South Windsor (21-1), 30; Griswold (20-7), 27; E.O. Smith (19-4), 25; Bristol Eastern (17-6), 21; Notre Dame-Fairfield (22-5), 19; Oxford (20-5), 17; Mercy (8-12), 16; Woodland (14-7), 16; Windsor (18-5), 16; Holy Cross (20-5), 14; Stamford (19-6), 14; Maloney (17-6), 10; Coventry (19-4), 9; Berlin (15-8), 9; North Branford (12-8), 9; Old Lyme (13-9), 8; Brookfield (18-6), 8; SHA (13-7), 8; Granby (19-7), 8; Montville (17-6), 7; Hale Ray (14-9), 7; Ellington (19-4), 7.|
|The following voted: Scott Ericson, Stamford Advocate; Tim Jensen, Patch Media Corp Vickie Fulkerson, The Day; George DeMaio, WELI; Jimmy Zanor, Norwich Bulletin; Will Aldam, GameTimeCT; Mike Madera, Hearst Connecticut Media; Dave Phillips, Hearst Connecticut Media; Bryan Burdick, NFA; Nick DeLizio, North Branford; Richard Zalusky, Willimantic Chronicle; Ken Pereiras, Seymour.
Compiled by Will Aldam