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Two tough losses to swallow for Warrriors

CANTON, April 19 — The season is only three games old for the Canton High softball team, which is still searching for some clutch hitting. “Our bats haven’t woken up yet,” Canton coach Doug Clements said. “We’re never got that big hit and we’re having trouble getting bunts down that would have helped us.”

Canton (1-2, 1-1 NCCC) has dropped two of its first three games, including a 1-0 decision to defending Class LL champion Fitch in Groton on opening day and a 4-2 decision to Stafford in eight innings last week.

It was a scoreless game for five innings against Stafford before the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the sixth. Canton responded in the bottom of the sixth with a double from Melissa Parente. Pitcher Mo Gauthier ripped an RBI triple to tie the score at 1-1. But Canton’s next three batters struck out, popped up on an attempted bunt and flew out to end the inning.

“We hit the ball but we couldn’t muster up enough hits,” Clement said. Sophomore first baseman Christina Cardwell went 4-for-4 in the game.

In the eighth, Stafford took a 2-1 lead on a solo home run from Emily Peirolo. They added another two unearned runs thanks to errors for a three-run lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Gauthier ripped a monster home run with one out to deep center field to cut the lead to two runs. Stephanie Gauthier followed with a walk, Sarah Sepia reached on an error and Brittany King ripped a shot between the first and second baseman to load the bases with one out.

But the next two batters struck out and flied into the outfield to end the threat and the ballgame and visiting Stafford celebrated its first win over Canton since 1991, snapping a 19-game losing streak against the Warriors.

Stafford pitcher Jody Buckley scattered nine hits and struck out nine. Mo Gauthier struck out nine, gave up six hits and walked one.

It was another thriller in the season opener against Fitch. Freshman pitcher Alana Luzzio scattered five hits and struck out six in the 1-0 victory. Fitch’s Brianna Turgeon scored in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly from Bridgit Thompson. Turgeon reached on an infield single, stole second base and moved to third base on a groundout. “We left runners on base in five of the seven innings,” Clement said.

Canton got its first win of the season in game two, a 9-1 victory over Bolton. Mo Gauthier struck out nine. Cardwell and Katherine Winsor hit the ball well along with Mo Gauthier and Parente. The Warriors stole five bases.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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