Warriors win 11 games, including 8 in a row
CANTON, May 16 – A year ago, the Canton High softball team was in turmoil. The Warriors were a young team with just one senior. They had some players with experience, plenty of youngsters and a new coach – athletic coordinator John Bement, who took over days before the season began.
Canton sophomore Morgan Scarfuri
The Warriors earned a spot in the state tournament with an 8-8 record but there was some underlying tension as the season concluded with a 5-0 loss to Coginchaug in the first round of the Class S tournament.
Bement never really settled on a permanent lineup and players were rotated on and off the field at will. Bement himself added to the turmoil, handing the reins to junior varsity coach Charlie Batan with one game left in the regular season.
This spring, Batan took over virtually the same team. Canton won 11 of its first 16 games to qualify for the Class S tournament for the sixth straight year. The Warriors (11-5, 11-4 NCCC) have won nine of their last 10 games. They won eight straight at one point.
“I’m very proud of them,” Batan said. “They exceeded the expectations I had when the season began.”
Senior pitcher Christina Cardwell
Batan revamped the starting linup, moving some players to new positions. But he has stuck with it throughout the season. “If you believe in them and give them a chance, they’ll find their nitch,” he said. “They had the talent. They just needed to believe in themselves.”
Sophomore Morgan Scarfuri and senior Christina Cardwell have split the duties on the mound. Scarfuri is a hard-throwing hurler who is more consistent and a year older. Cardwell doesn’t throw as hard but she is very consistent and is a tremendous fielder.
While Scarfuri may have more strikeouts, Cardwell gives her defense a chance to field the ball. And the Warriors have played solid defense this season. “They’re a very strong defensive team,” he said. “Their defense is very solid. They’re very smart.”
Defensively, it begins with senior catcher Olivia Bonini, junior shortstop Katherine Winsor and junior second baseman Amber Batan. When she isn’t pitching, Cardwell plays third with junior Brittany King at first base.
In the outfield is seniors Elizabeth Mutch, Stephanie Gauthier and Rose Minichello. Kiersten Kronschnabel is an outfielder and designated hitter.
There have been some thrilling contests this season. In late April, the Warriors beat Stafford, 1-0 in 10 innings on a RBI single from Cardwell. Earlier this month, Canton beat Sport Medicine Science Academy (SMSA), 4-1 in nine innings with a three-run surge in the ninth. Canton had a hard-fought 4-2 win over Windsor Locks last week.
Against Stafford, Scarfuri pitched nine innings and struck out nine. In the top of the 10th inning, Bonini led off with a triple and Cardwell had a game-winning RBI single with two outs in the inning. Then, she went out and retired the side in the 10th for the win.
Against SMSA, Scarfuri went the distance, striking out 14 batters in nine innings. It was tied 1-1 after eight but Canton exploded in the ninth. King and Scarfuri singled and Windsor followed with a two-RBI single to break it open.
Against Windsor Locks, Gauther was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Other notable highlights this season was King going 3-for-5 with a single, double, triple and four RBI in a 15-4 win over Windsor Locks in April. In a 18-10 shootout win over Avon in April, Minichello had three hits, a triple and four RBI while King had three hits herself.
The regular season ends on Wednesday, May 23. If Canton finishes among the top four teams in the NCCC, they’ll play in the league tournament this weekend. The CIAC tournament begins on Tuesday, May 29.
2012 at a glance
April 4:Ellington 6, Canton 0
April 5: Canton 9, Somers 3
April 9: East Granby 3, Canton 2
April 13: Suffield 8, Canton 0
April 16: Canton 5, Coventry 4
April 18: Granby 10, Canton 0
April 24: CHS 15, Windsor Lcks 4
April 25: Canton 15, Bolton 3
April 26: Canton 1, Stafford 0 (10)
April 27: Canton 18, Avon 10
April 30: Canton 6, Enfield 0
May 2: Canton 4, SMSA 1 (9)
May 4: Canton 14, Wolcott Tech 2
May 7: CHS 27, E. Windsor 1 (5)
May 10: Coventry 3, Canton 2 (8)
May 14: CHS 5, Windsor Lcks 2
Record: Canton 11-5, 11-4 NCCC
Warriors finish with a flourish
CANTON, May 25 — The Warriors finished the regular season with three straight wins to finish fourth in the league at 9-4 and earn a spot in the NCCC Tournament.
Sophomore Morgan Scarfuri’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth helped Canton beat Somers, 3-2. The Warriors had 15 hits in a 15-3 win over Avon and 12 hits in a 19-5 win over Wolcott Tech in Canton’s final regular season game. In the NCCC Tournament, Granby eliminated the Warriors in the semifinals, 7-1.