Week 2 roundup: April 13-18
CANTON, April 18 – Before the first pitch was thrown this season, there was the anticipation surrounding the challenge of New Britain by the Canton High softball team this spring. With eight starters returning from a team that won 16 of 20 games a year ago, Canton coach Doug Clement wanted to make sure his team received some challenges.
Canton (5-0, 2-0 NCCC) hosts New Britain on Wednesday (April 22). But Canton’s road to the contest wasn’t without its bumps. They’ve been pushed in several contests. “We had some nice wakeup calls,” Clement said regarding the opposition. “Everyone is scrappy and hangs around. Everyone has improved.”
In the second game of the season, Canton (5-0, 2-0 NCCC) scored four runs in the sixth and seventh innings to break open a three-run contest in a 9-2 victory over East Granby. Junior pitcher Mo Gauthier had a RBI triple in the seventh inning when Canton iced the contest with three runs. Sarah Sabia added a two-RBI double in the fourth inning.
Last week, Canton earned its fourth win of the season with a 5-2 win over Coventry. The Patriots allowed just nine hits and cut the lead to one run, 3-2, before freshman outfielder Stephanie Gauthier had an key RBI triple in the fifth inning. Shortstop Melissa Parente, catcher Jesse Schroeder and Fran Klimczak each had two hits in the victory.
Canton had three victories last week. Not only did they beat Coventry but Canton had 12 hits and Parente belted a home run in a 15-4 victory over Bolton. On Friday, Canton’s Mo Gauthier allowed just one hit and struck out eight as the Warriors beat a young Avon team by a 17-0 score in five innings.
Parente and Mo Gauthier each had three hits while Klimczak, Schroeder and Nicole Batan had two hits each. Parente had two home runs and a triple.
BOYS TENNIS: It may be a season of paying their dues but the Canton High boys tennis isn’t afraid to throw its chips on the table and see what happens.
In singles, sophomore Nate Scott is at No. 1 singles with sophomore Ned Furtney at No. 2. Scott and Furtney played doubles a year ago with Scott getting some matches at No. 4 singles. Junior Kevin Soucy is a rookie at No. 3 singles but is making solid progress. Sophomore David Shaverdian is at No. 4 singles.
Juniors Steve Carpenter and Sean Mullins are playing at No. 1 doubles. A mix of players are playing at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles for Canton coach Tom Peterson. Sophomore Sam Crowe, Matt Herman and Mason Case have seen playing time in the first four matches.
Canton (1-3, 1-3 NCCC) owns a 6-1 win over Ellington but were shutout by Avon, Bolton and Tolland. “As a group, I think we are pretty much on the same page,” Peterson said. “We approach each match attempting to learn something about ourselves and our opponents push us. We have our eyes open.
“Often, they’ll leave the court after a match, stand together and talk about the match,” he said. “Someone will mention next season and the season after that and the chatter gets excited. They start talking about what they need to do for the next match. This group has a long-term focus and it’s exciting to be around.”
BASEBALL: After winning three straight games to open the season, Avon handed Canton (3-1, 1-1 NCCC) its first loss of the season on Friday, limiting the Warriors to just six hits in an 8-0 defeat.
Earlier in the week, Canton hurler Kyle Beattie allowed just three hits and struck out two in a 3-0 win over Bolton. Travis Lane had an RBI triple in the fifth to give the Warriors an extra run. In a 10-6 win over Coventry, hurler Brian Magna helped scatter 10 Patriot hits.
GIRLS TENNIS: It was a tough week for the Warriors (2-3), who dropped two of three matches. Canton shutout East Granby, 7-0 but was nipped by Tolland, 4-3 and fell to defending league champion Avon, 7-0. Earlier in the week, Tolland beat Avon by a surprising 7-0 margin.
GOLF: Play in the North Central Connecticut Conference (NCCC) will be challenging this spring for Canton. Despite Ryan Allen’s low score of 35, Avon beat Canton by five strokes last week, 165-170. A day later, Canton and Suffield battled to a 162-162 tie at Crestview in Agawam, Mass. The Canton girls golf team remained undefeated (2-0) with a nine shot win over Avon, 212-221.
TRACK & FIELD: With an 89-60 win over Suffield and a 98-47 win over East Granby, the Canton boys track team remained undefeated at 4-0 overall and in the league. The Canton girls (2-2, 2-2 NCCC) split a tri-meet, beating East Granby, 80-43 but falling to Suffield, 122-36.