Bristol Central, Southington to meet in all-CCC Class LL softball championship

STRATFORD — The Class LL softball semifinals took place Monday as the four remaining teams in the tournament battled for a spot in the state championship game. Danbury, Bristol Central, Southington and Fairfield Ludlowe laid it all out on the field, but at the end of the day it was the two CCC teams left standing.


When Bristol Central starting pitcher Sophia Torreso took the mound to start the game, the goal was to hold it close against Danbury ace Haley Pucci.

While the Rams typically go with the two pitcher formula, Torreso proved too dominant to take out.

“She only gave up two hits, she was on,” Bristol Central coach Monica Hayes said. “The plan was to split the game, but there was no need to do that. She was lights-out, and I don’t think I have seen her pitch a better game.”

The junior pitched a complete game, allowing just one run on two hits and one walk while striking out 12 Danbury batters in the 4-1 victory.

The lone blemish on her line came in the seventh inning, when Kaylee Drago connected for a solo home run (her third straight game with a homer).

“I get very emotional on the mound, and I was really feeling it tonight,” Torreso said. “My catcher is literally my favorite person in the world, and I have so much trust in her. If I mess up, she is going to pick me up, and our defense was stellar today.”

Bristol Central gave Torreso an early lead as sophomore Leah Sklenka singled in her sister Samantha Sklenka in the top of the first.

The Rams struck again in the second inning when catcher Lorelei Stancavage hit a ball that was misplayed in right field to bring home Sarah Romano.

Torreso was perfect through the first three innings before surrendering an infield single to Reagan Lalor.

Leah Sklenka would pad the Bristol Central lead in the fifth, scoring on an error. Samantha Sklenka scored on a passed ball in the sixth for a 4-0 lead.

“A lot of grit, a lot of hard work and a lot of resiliency out of this team,” Hayes said. “We’re playing some really good softball right now in the last two games. I’m really proud of this team and proud to be a part of Bristol Central.”

Bristol Central improves to 22-4 with the victory, and will make its first state title appearance since 2005.

“I’m overwhelmed with pride,” Hayes said. “These girls have played though a lot of obstacles and I can’t wait for the next one.”

Danbury finishes its season with a 23-3 record and appeared in its first state tournament semifinal since 1987.

“I am so proud of this team,” Danbury coach Erica Carboni said. “It’s unfortunate it ended like this, but you can’t dwell on it. You have to look back at what we accomplished this year. I told the girls, people are talking about you, your town is talking about you. The last time we went 23-3 was 35 years ago, so it’s an incredible mark we made this year, and I’m so proud of each and every one of them.”


The second semifinal game was a rerun of last year’s Class LL state championship game in which Southington defeated Ludlowe on a walk-off hit for its 19th state title in program history.

Now meeting in the semifinals, Southington proved once again to be Ludlowe’s kryptonite with a 7-3 victory for its third straight state championship appearance.

While the end was less dramatic than that of a year ago, there was plenty of back-and-forth before Southington pulled away.

Ludlowe wasted no time, scoring two runs in the top of the first on a two-out two-run single by third baseman Katie Tournas.

Southington answered in the bottom half, however, as shortstop Sam Rogers connected for a two-run home run to reset the score.

“If you look back at our games this year, we have answered back immediately almost every time a team has scored,” Southington coach Davina Hernandez said. “That’s something that the girls have done a really good job of. We always say get it back and more, and that’s exactly what they did.”

A half-inning later, Ludlowe shortstop Elena Ohe went deep as well, connecting for a solo shot just out of the reach of Southington center fielder Ashlyn Desaulniers for a 3-2 lead.

The Falcons’ lead would stand for an inning before Southington starting pitcher Sam Sullivan helped her own cause by driving in Desaulniers with a base knock in the third inning.

Sullivan returned to the mound after allowing runs in each of her first two frames and found her groove, sending the Falcons down in order.

“(Fairfield Ludlowe) is obviously a powerhouse team,” Hernandez said. “We knew what they brought to the plate, and we knew how strong they were going to be, but once we settled in, we were fine.”

In the bottom half of the fourth, Southington broke out for four runs starting with a suicide squeeze by Maddie Furniss. A batter later, senior catcher Kaitlynn Griffin drove in two with a line drive down the first-base line for a 6-3 lead.

Later in the inning, Desaulniers drove in the final run of the game on a sacrifice fly to score junior Emma Quint.

Sullivan earned the win, completing four innings while allowing one earned run (two unearned) on two hits, while relievers Stella Blanchard and Furniss combined for three shutout innings to close it out.

Southington advances to the final for the third year in a row. The Blue Knights will look for a third straight championship and the 20th in program history against a familiar opponent in Bristol Central.

“We’ve seen them twice so far this year,” Hernandez said. “I think we know them pretty well, as we’ve played them twice in the last three weeks. They have very good pitching and they’re like us where they use more than one. They have good bats as well, so we’ll need to have the control on the mound.”

As the No. 1-ranked team in the state entering the tournament, Ludlowe sees its season come to an end with a record of 25-2.

“I think we exceeded expectations,” Ludlowe coach Lou Bunosso said. “If you asked me at the beginning of the year if we would finish 25-2 and being No. 1 in the ranking all season, I would have said no. They came a long way, and I’m really proud of them. I think we’ll be back next year.”; @AldamWill


BRISTOL CENTRAL 110 011 0 — 4 5 0

Danbury 000 000 1— 1 2 2

Records: Bristol Central 24-4; Danbury 23-3

Batteries: BC-Sophia Toresso (W) and Lorelei Stancavage; D-Haley Pucci (L) Samantha Fenaroli.

HRs: D — Kaylee Drago


LUDLOWE 210 000 0 — 3 5 0

SOUTHINGTON 201 400 X— 7 7 3

Records: Ludlowe 25-2; Southington 25-1

Batteries: S-Sam Sullivan (W), Stella Blanchard (5), Maddie Furniss (7) and Kaitlyn Griffin; L-Alex Lewey (L), Anna Gedacht (4), Lewey (4) and Allie Tournas.

HRs: S- Sam Rogers; L-Elena Ohe