CIAC SOFTBALL CHAM­PI­ONSHIP CAP­SULES

The News-Times - - SPORTS - — Ryan Lacey

CLASS LL NFA VS. SOUTHINGTO­N

When: Satur­day, 4 p.m. Where: DeLuca Field, Strat­ford

Seeds/Records: No. 8 NFA (21-4) vs. No. 3 Southingto­n (21-3)

Tick­ets: Adults $10, Stu­dents $5, tick­ets can be bought on­line in ad­vance at https://go­fan.co/app/school/ CIAC

CHAM­PI­ONSHIP GAME AP­PEAR­ANCES

NFA: 3rd ap­pear­ance, 0-2 over­all. 2007 lost Ma­suk;

1984 lost East Haven. Southingto­n: 23rd ap­pear­ance, 17-5 over­all. 2017 def. Trum­bull; 2015 def. Cheshire; 2014 Def. Amity;

2013 Def. Mercy; 2012 lost Amity; 2004 def. Bris­tol Cen­tral; 2003 lost Amity;

2002 lost Amity; 1999 def. Amity; 1998 lost Ly­man Hall; 1997 def. Amity; 1993 def. Westhill; 1990 def. Sta­ples; 1988 def. Norwalk;

1987 def. Danbury; 1987 def. Holy Cross; 1985 def. Cheshire; 1983 def. East Haven;

1982 def. Manch­ester; 1981 def. Ham­den; 1979 def. Amity; 1978 def. Norwalk.

What to look for: Nor­wich Free Academy se­nior pitcher Bai­ley Comeau took a line drive off the arm dur­ing the Wild­cats’ semi­fi­nal win over Cheshire and could miss the fi­nal. Ju­nior Sophia DiCocco stepped in and held off the Rams, but Comeau’s pres­ence would be sorely missed as she pro­vided the key hit in both their quar­ter­fi­nal win over South Wind­sor and the win over Cheshire. NFA is look­ing for its first state ti­tle while Southingto­n is af­ter its 18th. The Knights are 14-1 in their last 15 games but have had sev­eral close calls along the way, in­clud­ing a

3-2 win over Ridge­field in the quar­ter­fi­nals. Sopho­more Ju­lia Pan­er­alla has emerged from a group of pitch­ers to take the start­ing role for Southingto­n, and shined against Trum­bull in the semi­fi­nals. She al­lowed just three hits in a re­match of the 2017 fi­nal.

You should know: Southingto­n beat NFA 5-3 dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son; NFA handed Southingto­n its only reg­u­lar sea­son loss in 2018.

CLASS L EAST HAVEN VS. MA­SUK

When: Fri­day, 7 p.m. Where: DeLuca Field, Strat­ford

Seeds/Records: No. 16 East Haven (15-9) vs. No. 2 Ma­suk (25-1)

Tick­ets: Adults $10, Stu­dents $5, tick­ets can be bought on­line in ad­vance at https://go­fan.co/app/school/ CIAC

CHAM­PI­ONSHIP GAME AP­PEAR­ANCES

East Haven: 6th ap­pear­ance, 2-3 over­all. 2015 def. Fitch; 2014 lost Sey­mour;

1984 def. NFA; 1983 lost Southingto­n; 1974 lost Shel­ton.

Ma­suk: 8th ap­pear­ance,

5-2 over­all. 2018 def. Brookfield; 2016 lost Fitch; 2013 def. Fo­ran; 2009 lost Fitch;

2008 def. Nau­gatuck; 2007 def. NFA; 1974 def. West­brook.

What to look for: The Pan­thers have won 52 of their last 53 games go­ing back to last year, most of which have been by dou­ble dig­its (in­clud­ing last year’s Class L ti­tle win). Ma­suk is led by a strong se­nior trio in pitcher Sam Schiebe and out­field­ers Meg McFar­land and Gretchen Bunovsky, who have amassed three SWC ti­tles and a state crown. East Haven is here for the first time since 2015 with a largely young team with sopho­more pitcher Tori Hea­phy lead­ing the way. She’s thrown two shutouts in a very dif­fi­cult part of the Class L bracket, in­clud­ing the shock 2-0 win over St. Joseph in round two. Fel­low sopho­mores Kayla Rosario and Brooke Clancy home­red in the semi­fi­nal win over Brookfield, while fresh­man catcher Ma­gade­lena Barthel is a spe­cial tal­ent. East Haven didn’t qual­ify for the SCC play­offs, but is rid­ing a sea­son-best six-game win streak. The team started off 0-3.

You should know: Ma­suk cen­ter fielder Meg McFar­land and her dad Jack — the head base­ball coach at Sta­ples — will both be af­ter state ti­tles this year. Sta­ples is in the Class LL fi­nal; both won con­fer­ence ti­tles (SWC and FCIAC) al­ready this spring.

CLASS M SEY­MOUR VS. WATER­FORD

When: Satur­day, 1 p.m. Where: Biondi Field, West Haven

Seeds/Records: No. 8 Sey­mour (22-5) vs. No. 3 Water­ford (21-4)

Tick­ets: Adults $10, Stu­dents $5, tick­ets can be bought on­line in ad­vance at go­fan.co/app/school/CIAC

CHAM­PI­ONSHIP GAME AP­PEAR­ANCES

Sey­mour: 19th ap­pear­ance, 11-7 over­all. 2017 def. North Bran­ford; 2016 def. Rocky Hill; 2014 def. East Haven; 2011 lost Sa­cred Heart; 2009 def. St. Joseph;

2007 lost St. Joseph; 2006 def. Lau­ral­ton Hall; 2005 def. Daniel Hand; 2004 def. Sa­cred Heart; 2003 lost Ly­man Hall; 2000 def. Sa­cred Heart 1998 lost Mor­gan; 1996 def. Bris­tol East­ern; 1995 def. Bethel; 1994 lost Led­yard; 1993 def. Ston­ing­ton; 1992 lost Middletown; 1985 lost Lewis Mills.

Water­ford: 10th ap­pear­ance, 4-5 over­all. 2013 def. Granby; 2010 def. Bris­tol East­ern; 2009 def. Darien;

2008 lost North Haven;

2007 lost Bris­tol East­ern;

2003 lost Gris­wold; 1999 lost New Fair­field; 1984 lost St. Joseph; 1983 def. Lewis Mills.

What to look for: Sey­mour top­pled Water­ford

10-1 early in the sea­son, but the Lancers are a far dif­fer­ent out­fit now. They won 13 in a row be­fore a dis­ap­point­ing 3-0 loss to Gris­wold in the ECC Divi­sion I semi­fi­nals. Water­ford has outscored op­po­nents 53-2 in four wins dur­ing the Class M tour­na­ment. Fresh­man Mad­die Bur­rows belted two home runs in a quar­ter­fi­nal win over Wol­cott and Rachel Miller went 4-for-4 and pitched the Lancers past Granby in the semis. Sey­mour has sur­vived an up-and-down sea­son to reach where it usu­ally ar­rives: the Class M fi­nal. The Wild­cats will be af­ter a fourth ti­tle in six years and got a pair of ex­cel­lent pitch­ing per­for­mances over Law and ND-Fair­field to reach the fi­nal. Both teams have stel­lar of­fenses and hit close to .380 as a team. Wild­cats sopho­more Mor­gan Teo­dosio has con­tin­ued off her fresh­man sea­son to hit .519 with 42 hits and 29 RBIs this spring.

You should know:

10 of Sey­mour’s 11 state ti­tles in its his­tory have come with wins against dif­fer­ent teams. The Wild­cats have never faced Water­ford in a state fi­nal.

CLASS S SOMERS VS. COGIN­CHAUG

When: Fri­day, 7 p.m. Where: Biondi Field, West Haven

Seeds/Records: No. 9 Somers (18-6) vs. No. 7 Cogin­chaug (20-6)

Tick­ets: Adults $10, Stu­dents $5, tick­ets can be bought on­line in ad­vance at https://go­fan.co/app/school/ CIAC

CHAM­PI­ONSHIP GAME AP­PEAR­ANCES

Somers: 1st ap­pear­ance Cogin­chaug: 16th ap­pear­ance, 11-4 over­all. 2012 def. St. Bernard; 2009 lost Canton; 2008 def. Ly­man Memo­rial; 2007 lost Ly­man Memo­rial; 2006 def. Hale Ray; 2005 def. Thomaston;

2002 def. Hale Ray; 2002 lost Hale Ray; 1999 def. Trin­ity Catholic; 1998 def. Hale Ray; 1997 def. Tourtel­lotte; 1995 def. Hale Ray;

1994 def. Trin­ity Catholic;

1983 def. Had­dam-Killing­worth; 1981 lost Elling­ton.

What to look for: Just like Water­ford in Class M, Somers has de­stroyed all com­ers in the Class S tour­na­ment. The Spar­tans — who are the only school in their first fi­nal this year — won their first four games by a com­bined 50-2 score­line af­ter miss­ing out on the NCCC tour­na­ment thanks to a pair of one-run losses late in the sea­son. Shan­non Whalen and Gabrielle Tul­lock each had four hits in a 14-0 rout of Wamogo in the semi­fi­nals. The Blue Devils have had a much harder patch to Biondi, though. Cogin­chaug had to rally from three runs down in the sev­enth to stun Holy Cross on a two-run doou­ble from Dana Boothroyd.

You should know: Cogin­chaug played in the long­est game in softball state fi­nal his­tory, a 1-0 win over Hale Ray in 1998.

Chris­tian Abra­ham / Hearst Connecticu­t Me­dia

Ma­suk’s Sa­man­tha Schiebe pitches against North Haven dur­ing the Class L semi­fi­nals on Tues­day.

Chris­tian Abra­ham / Hearst Connecticu­t Me­dia

East Haven’s Vic­to­ria Hea­phy in ac­tion against Brookfield in the Class L semi­fi­nals on Tues­day.

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