In a rivalry game that saw four lead changes on Thursday, Cheshire High School softball (top seed, 20-2) pulled out a 5-4 victory over Amity (third seed, 17-4) in the Southern Connecticut Conference final at West Haven. CHS earned their fourth tournament crown in a span of five years and took a 2-1 lead in the rivalry series this year.
The SCC Player of the Year and Tournament Most Outstanding Player, senior co-captain/pitcher Bri Pearson yielded eight hits and two walks, recording four strikeouts in improving to 19-2. At the plate, she tallied a pair of RBI singles to drive in the game’s first and final runs.
Amity threatened with two singles in the first inning, but Cheshire used a strikeout and ground out to end the inning. The Rams returned to score first in the bottom half.
Junior Grace Lurz led off with a walk, advanced on a sacrifice bunt by senior co-captain Ella Watson, and scored on Pearson’s first single.
The Spartans came back to take their only lead, 2-1, in the third. Senior Juliette Zito reached on a fielding error and sophomore Grace Carrington followed with a single. Both runners scored on a two-run single by senior Olivia Greco.
CHS came right back to put up three runs in the bottom of the third. After Lurz hit a single, Watson tallied a bunt single and an error allowed Lurz to score and tie the game.
Cheshire continued to execute small ball, as senior co-captain Trinadey Santiago put down an RBI single to bring in Watson. Pearson reached on a fielder’s choice and after coming in to run for her, sophomore Kyla Kampf scored the fourth run on an error.
Amity responded with two runs to tie the game in the fourth. Senior Nicole Bier led off with a double and came around to score on an RBI fielder’s choice by sophomore Sydney Manzione. Senior Corynne Chadwick and Zito hit consecutive singles, but in a key play, Watson fielded the ball in center field and threw out Chadwick at home plate to keep the game tied at 4-4.
Cheshire used a pop out to end the inning and then retook the lead for good during the fifth. Watson worked a walk, moved up on a fielder’s choice, and scored the eventual winning run on Pearson’s second single.
The Rams still had to get out of a jam in the seventh. To start the inning, a throwing error allowed Carrington to sprint all the way to third base, but in the next at bat, Pearson caught a line drive off the bat of senior pitcher Kelly Pritchard and then threw the ball to third base for a double play. From there, Pearson induced out a ground out to clinch the crown.
After claiming the SCC title, CHS now starts preparing for the Class LL Tournament. The bracket will be announced on Friday.
Girls’ Golf (14-1)
Cheshire earned their ninth consecutive victory, 148-164, over host St. Paul Catholic at Westwoods Golf Course. CHS took a 2-0 lead in the regular-season series.
Junior Mia Hidalgo secured medalist (35) for the second straight day. Sophomore Sydney Hidalgo followed with a 36.
Freshman Sophia DelRosso (38) and junior Mackenzie Corcoran (39) came in consecutively. Senior captain Bella DelRosso (45) and senior Molly DeMeo (43) also competed for the Rams.
CHS finishes the regular season on June 1, hosting Newington and St. Paul Catholic at Southington Country Club. Start time is 3 p.m.
Friday’s varsity schedule:
Boys’ Tennis (third seed, 16-3)
For the Class L First Round, the Rams play Xavier (14th seed, 7-10) at 3 p.m. Cheshire defeated the Falcons on April 24 (4-3) and May 12 (5-2).
Boys’ Volleyball (top seed, 15-2)
Riding a 14-match win streak, Cheshire hosts Amity (third seed, 10-9) in the SCC final at 6 p.m. CHS opened the year with a 3-2 win over the Spartans on April 12 and then won 3-1 on May 10 at Amity.