BURLINGTON - The Berlin softball team seems to really enjoy playing the role of the underdog.
Taking on No. 5 Lewis Mills on Thursday afternoon, the No. 21 Redcoats battled through a scoreless tie into the seventh inning before exploding for five runs to claim their second upset in as many days. Berlin, which beat No. 12 Plainfield on Wednesday, moves on to the Class M quarterfinals to meet No. 4 Notre Dame-Fairfield on Saturday.
Stefanie Poulin outdueled Lewis Mills starter Mary-Kate Cormier, who the Redcoats finally figured out after six dormant innings.
“Both pitchers were great,” head coach Jason Pires said. “It was a classic pitcher’s duel. We just broke down the door in the seventh inning.
Poulin allowed just one earned run and struck out 10 batters, holding the fort until Sophia Fazzina broke the scoreless tie with a single in the seventh, followed by a three-run single by Julia Ladd, who smacked a single to right to clear the bases and give Berlin a comfortable lead that Poulin would not give up.
The New Britain girls outdoor track team finished in 14th place of 20 teams at the Class LL championships, but for two Hurricanes athletes, the season is not over just yet.
Raven Symone Jarrett finished in second place in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 15.51, and placed fourth in the 300 meter hurdles with a mark of 46.28. Both were personal records for Jarrett, and the latter set a school record. The solid overall outing earned Jarrett a trip to Monday’s State Open.
Rozalynn Smith will be joining Jarrett at the State Open after finishing in fifth place in the triple jump with a jump of 34 feet, seven inches.
Berlin topped all local finishers at Thursday’s CCC championships, finishing in sixth place among a field of 26 teams. Berlin’s total score of 310 edged Southington’s mark of 313, as the Blue Knights came in seventh.
Newington came in 17th place with a 365, while Plainville finished in 19th place with a 405. New Britain rounded out the local teams with a total score of 450, good for 24th place.
John Downes and Jacob Lindsay each recorded top-10 finishes for the Redcoats, tying for 10th place with scores of 75 each. The Indians’ John Hurst finished close behind with a 77. The Hurricanes’ top finisher was Arthur Bell, who logged a 107 on the day.
No. 1 Berlin 11, No. 17 Stratford 3: After laboring through a 4-0 deficit in the first round of the Class L state tournament, the Redcoats made sure there would be no need for a comeback in their second round match against Stratford.
Berlin exploded for nine runs in the first inning and grabbed an 11-0 lead to cruise into the quarterfinals, which will be played Saturday against No. 24 Foran.
Gianni Fanelli led the offense with two hits, including a home run, while Ryan Hyde, Tom Hyjek and Nick Melville each enjoyed multi-hit games, each recording a double along the way. Melville finished the day with a pair of RBI to pace the offensive onslaught.
No. 8 Enfield 4, No. 9 Newington 0: The Indians’ season came to an end in the second round of the Class LL state tournament on Thursday, as the Newington bats couldn’t figure out Enfield starter Justin Ledger.
The Indians bats managed just four hits off of Ledger, who shut out Newington and needed just a solo home run from Matt Falk, though Enfield added on more insurance afterward.
“Any time the season comes to a close, there’s disappointment,” head coach Ben Alaimo said. “But at the same time, these seniors had tremendous careers at Newington. It was an honor to coach them and a pleasure to be around them. They fought hard to the end. Unfortunately, somebody has to lose.”
Ryan Chichester can be reached at (860) 801-5094 or email@example.com