For the second straight season, Southington was voted the No. 1 team in the final Top 10 softball poll by an unanimous decision.
The Lady Knights capped an unbeaten season by rallying past Cheshire 5-4 in the Class LL championship game. Southington (24-0) collected all 17 first-place votes from the panel of media members and coaches, and finished with 510 points.
Class M champion Oxford (26-1) was second with 462 points, Cheshire (23-3) was third with 432 points, East Haven (19-7), the Class L champ, finished fourth with 384 points and Class M runner-up St. Joseph (26-1) placed fifth with 380 points.
Notebook: East Haven joins some elite company
It was the third straight title for Southington, and 17th overall. The Lady Knights (24-0) have won 70 straight games. They are closing in on Seymour’s state-best 78-game winning streak set from 2005-2007. Southington and Seymour are in the process of working out an arrangement to play next season.
Whether or not the Lady Knights break the Wildcats’ record, it’s been an impressive run. Southington reached its fourth straight state final this year.
“Amazing,” said second-year Southington coach Davina Hernandez, who is 48-0, following the victory over Cheshire. “It’s hard to put into words. But I’ll tell you one thing: this is emotional, because (of) those nine seniors. I don’t know if I’ll ever have another nine like them. They’ve just been amazing. I can’t put it into words. It’s just been surreal. That’s the one word I choose. It’s just been surreal.”
Final result: Defeated Cheshire 5-4 to win the Class LL state championship.
Bottom line: The Lady Knights finish as the No. 1 team in the final poll for the second straight season. Southington won its third straight state title, and 17th overall. The Lady Knights have won 70 games in a row.
Final result: Defeated St. Joseph 4-0 to win the Class M title.
Bottom line: Oxford won its second title in three seasons behind senior pitcher Ashley Guillette.
Final result: Lost to Southington 5-4 in the Class LL championship game.
Bottom line: The Rams squandered a 4-0 lead against Southington. Cheshire is still in search of the program’s first title. The Rams graduate 11 seniors.
|4. EAST HAVEN
Final result: Defeated Fitch 4-2 to win the Class L title.
Bottom line: The Easties won their first state title since 1984, and first for longtime East Haven coach Ed Crisafi.
|5. ST. JOSEPH
Final result: Lost to Oxford 4-0 in the Class M championship game.
Bottom line: Four seniors graduate, but junior pitcher Nicole Williams and a host of others return. The Cadets should again vie for a state crown next season.
Final result: Lost to East Haven 4-2 in the Class L championship game.
Bottom line: The Falcons only started one senior. A large junior class, led by pitcher Caroline Taber, the Gatorade State Player of the Year, should have Fitch in the mix again next season.
Final result: Lost to Cheshire 4-0 in the Class LL semifinals.
Bottom line: The Blue Wave graduate six seniors, including one of the state’s best players in Erika Osherow.
Final result: Lost to St. Joseph 5-3 in the Class M semifinals.
Bottom line: The Wildcats were the only team to defeat Oxford this season.
|9. LAURALTON HALL
Final result: Lost to East Haven 6-5 (9) in the Class L quarterfinals.
Bottom line: Six seniors graduate, but the Crusaders are always a factor for league and state laurels. Next season should be no different.
|10. HOLY CROSS
Final results: Defeated Thomaston 4-0 to win the Class S title.
Bottom line: The Crusaders avenged a 3-2 loss to Thomaston earlier this season to capture its first state title since 1989.
Dropped out: Amity (6), Thomaston (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
Thomaston (23-1), 137; Amity (18-7) and South Windsor (19-4), 132; Stamford (20-5), 81; North Branford (22-4), 51; North Haven (13-11), 47; East Granby (23-2), 43; Newtown (21-5), 38; Nonnewaug (17-7), 32; Sheehan (18-7), 26; Norwich Free Academy (18-6) and Tolland (19-5), 24; Rocky Hill (18-5), 19; Mercy (15-8), 17; Windsor (17-5), 9.
The following voted
Amanda Acampora, Lauralton Hall; Mary Albl, Fairfield Minuteman; Marc Allard, Norwich Bulletin; Scott Aresco, Maloney; Doug Bonjour, Connecticut Post; Tony Calcagni, Coginchaug; George DeMaio, WELI; Vickie Fulkerson, The Day of New London; Mike Madera, Elm City Newspapers; Ken Pereiras, Seymour; Mike Pucci, New Haven Register; Lori Riley, Hartford Courant; Mike Suppe, Hersam-Acorn; Liz Sutman, Waterford; Peter Vander Veer, Hersam-Acorn; Peter Wallace, Register Citizen; Jimmy Zanor, Middletown Press.