As we enter the quarterfinals of the CIAC softball tournament, here are five storylines to monitor:
The perfect season? Just three wins away
Masuk has been the No. 1 ranked team in the state since the pre-season poll, holding its position throughout with an undefeated campaign. Kathryn Gallant has carried on the tradition of Masuk pitching dominance, and with a supporting cast of Kaitlyn Welch, Jacie Hall, freshman Natalie Lieto and many others, the Panthers have a unique opportunity. If Masuk can get past Foran in the quarterfinal and the winner of East Haven/Waterford in the semis, it will have a shot at its third Class L title in as many seasons. If it were able to do so it would finish the season without a loss and with two championships, matching a feat it accomplished in 2018. Unlike 2018 however, this year Masuk has been ranked No. 1 since the start without relinquishing its position. A true undisputed top team in the state may have arrived.
CCC rivalries revisited in Class LL
The Southington Region of the Class LL state tournament has come to resemble a rematch of the CCC tournament. No. 1 Southington hosts No. 9 Glastonbury and No. 4 Enfield hosts No. 5 Hall on Friday, with the winners facing off against each other in the semifinal round. In the CCC tournament, Enfield eliminated Hall 1-0 as Tiffany Lubanski outdueled Sophie Garner-MacKinnon. Glastonbury was eliminated by Enfield as well, a 6-3 defeat in the semifinal round. In the championship game Southington defeated Enfield 12-1 to take the title. Plenty of revenge to go around here.
SCC against the world, three left standing
There were 12 SCC teams when the CIAC state tournaments began, but as we enter the quarterfinal rounds only three remain. All four of the SCC teams in Class LL (Cheshire, Amity, Shelton and West Haven) have been eliminated, and only two of six remain in Class L. No. 5 East Haven and No. 25 Foran still stand Class L while Mercy, North Haven, Sacred Heart Academy and Lyman Hall have been eliminated. No. 13 Jonathan Law represents Class M alone after Sheehan was eliminated. East Haven will face No. 4 Waterford and Foran will travel to No. 1 Masuk in the quarterfinal round Friday, with the winners going head-to-head in the semifinals. Law is scheduled to play No. 5 North Branford in its Class M quarterfinal round.
Of the 10 NVL teams to state tournaments, six are still competing. NVL teams have gone 13-4 across the Class L, M and S tournaments. In Class M specifically, four of five have survived into the quarterfinal round. No. 1 Woodland squares off with No. 8 Wolcott in the Class M tournament on Friday. On the other half of the bracket No. 10 Seymour of the NVL will host No. 15 Ellington, while No. 22 Watertown travels to No. 3 Granby. The winners will face off in the semifinal round, with a chance of three NVL teams reaching the Class M semifinals. No. 10 Naugatuck plays No. 2 St. Joseph in the Class L quarterfinal and No. 19 Ansonia of the NVL faces No. 11 Shepaug in the Class S quarterfinal, both on Friday.
Entering the Class LL Tournament, the Cheshire region seemed to be among the most difficult branches of any bracket in the state. Cheshire (No. 3 seed/No. 6 ranked in the state) and Amity (No. 6 seed/No. 9 ranked in the state) had just played in the SCC championship game and realized they could meet again as soon as the Class LL quarterfinal. Cheshire had beaten Amity 5-4 in the SCC final, but Amity had defeated Cheshire once in the regular season. A fourth classic matchup loomed, but Newtown and Trumbull had different plans. No. 11 Newtown defeated Amity 1-0 and No. 14 Trumbull took down No. 3 Cheshire 6-4 on Wednesday, breaking the bottom half of the bracket. Sydney Adolfson and Sarah Kick were the heroes for Newtown while Kenzie Bruggeman, Jenna Duffy and Kiley Barbagallo led Trumbull. The two underdogs will play each other in the quarterfinals on Friday. Newtown and Trumbull are the lowest remaining seeds in Class LL, and the winner will play the winner of No. 7 Staples and No. 2 Fairfield Ludlowe in the semifinal.
Please go to GametimeCT.com High School Sports to read full article.