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Canton softball has 4-game winning streak

CANTON, May 9 – Canton High softball coach Doug Clement liked the spunk displayed by his defending Class S champion Warriors in a 3-2 loss to Granby in eight innings. It’s true that Canton batters struck out 16 times.

But they had seven hits and made Granby pitcher Julie Marks work for every out. “She is one of the best pitchers in the league,” Clement said. “But we were fouling lots of pitchers and getting full counts. They were quality at bats. We were scrapping.” Granby’s Sara Hammick won the game with a one-out, walkoff home run.

Since then, Canton (6-3, 6-2 NCCC) has won four straight games. They had a game with defending Class LL champion Fitch rained out in the first inning. But it was an exciting inning with the Warriors erasing a three-run deficit to take a 4-3 lead. The game will be made up in its entirety later this month.

The momentum that began against Granby continued in a 2-1 victory over Somers. The Warriors rallied with two runs in the sixth inning. Trailing 1-0, freshman pinch hitter Olivia Bonini led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch. She scored when Stephanie Gauthier reached on an error. Gauther scored on Melissa Parente’s RBI triple.

“That was out best game of the year,” Clement said. “It was a quality win and one we came from behind to win.” Canton got six hits off Somers pitcher JoJo Meunier, who has a 0.82 ERA after 10 games. Somers was 8-4 as of last Friday.

The Warriors have also beaten Enfield, 12-2 and Windsor Locks, 18-3 in six innings. Canton made it four straight wins on Friday with an 8-5 win over Coventry, sparked by a fifth inning grand slam from Melissa Parente that erased a 3-2 deficit and put Canton ahead for good.

Parente, a senior shortstop, has been struggling offensively this season with a torn muscle in her upper thigh. Defensively, she has been flawless at shortstop but the injury has diminished some of her power. “It’s been hard on her but she is still our leader,” Clement said. “She comes to practice with a smile.”

Parente has received a scholarship to play softball at the University of Rhode Island next spring – an outstanding accomplishment for a Canton athlete. Many Canton athletes have competed at the collegiate level but few have received scholarships to play at the Division I level.

Against Windsor Locks, the Raiders took a quick 3-0 lead. But Canton responded with nine runs in the bottom of the first inning. Stephanie Gauthier had a single and home run in the first inning. Her sister, Mo was 3-for-4 at the plate.

Against Enfield, Mo Gauthier pitched her second no-hitter of the season, striking out 12 and walking just one. At the plate, Mo Gauthier hit two home runs, scored four runs and knocked in four RBI.

After eight games, Mo Gauthier was hitting. 464 with four HR and eight RBI. Stephanie Gauthier is hitting .310. Sophomore Christina Cardwell (.375), senior Elise Minichello (.350) and freshmen Kathryn Winsor (.384) and Lee Fitzgerald (.315) have also been hitting well.

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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