Raiders and Panthers in Class L semi's. Mother Nature to determine game day.
TORRINGTON: Mother Nature has been at the forefront of most of this spring sports season so why would we think she would take time off at the end?
After washing out the bulk of State Tournament action on Monday, the all-powerful one looks poised to do the same today as Class L and Class S baseball and softball teams are scheduled to be in action around the state.
On the local scene, two teams are scheduled to be in action on the softball diamond as No 4 Torrington faces off against No 1 Pomperaug in a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal game, won by the Raiders, 3-0 after ace Ali DuBois tossed a no-hitter.
In the other game, this one in Class S, No 2 Holy Cross is set to face off against No 3 Wamogo in West Haven at 4 p.m. with Torrington and Pomperaug scheduled for first pitch at 7 p.m.
On a day when the high temperature is forecast to be in the low to mid-50’s, it would not be unreasonable to see the CIAC move these games to Thursday after pushing Monday’s contests to Wednesday.
For Torrington, it another trip to a land they had yet to get to until they marched there a year ago behind much of the same team that they have put out on the field this year on their way to a 17-3 regular season.
Led by DuBois, the Boston University bound hard throwing righty, the Raiders have gone from a team just happy to find themselves playing in a big game to one that wants badly to take that next step towards a potential chance to bring home a State Championship.
It’s a Torrington lineup that is loaded with seniors who have played together since their earliest moments of picking up a glove or a bat.
Alexis Tyrrell starts things off at the top of the lineup and can do so many things for head coach Maryann Mussleman once she gets on base.
Tyrrell possesses power and speed, a key part of any leadoff hitter’s repertoire and is one of the teams most consistent fielders at second.
Nina Julian, also a senior, bats second and has been moving Tyrrell along on a consistent basis as one of team’s best bunters, a very important part of any championship caliber team that understands that small ball wins games this time of the year.
The RBI portion of the Raider’s offense has been dominated by the heart of the Torrington order which stretches from Carissa Carbone in the three spot, to Taylor Rogers in the seven spot.
Carbone has three RBI’s in the states, including a key one in the Raiders last game against North Haven that gave Torrington a 2-0 lead in the deciding sixth inning.
DuBois holds down the cleanup spot and has three hits in the two games Torrington has played so far in the states and is a deep threat every time she steps in the box.
Lauren Jamieson has been in the middle of many a rally this season for Mussleman in the sixth spot in the lineup, either by starting rallies or by driving in runs when the opportunity presents itself.
Another senior (all the above are upperclassmen), Taylor Rogers give Musselman another player who has become hyper efficient with her ability to put down a quality bunt when needed.
With Julian and Rogers, Mussleman has a pair of unique weapons who bookend the power portion of the Raiders lineup, a tremendous advantage for any team.
The bottom portion of the lineup has made quality contributions throughout the season with Mariah Herczeg, Alyssa Dowd or Sidnee Kovall all chipping in at key times.
Dowd, the only sophomore in the starting lineup, has been behind the plate the bulk of the season, catching DuBois and the duo has become one of the best in the NVL.
Pomperaug returns some of the key pieces of their team from last year and certainly remembers the no-hitter at Torrington High School a year ago and will have an eye on revenge while looking to get back to the Class L finals.
Ashley Antonazzo is a high-quality pitcher for the Panthers who gave up just four hits a year ago in the quarters.
One team, the Raiders, are looking to get to a place they have been pushing for since falling to Fitch in Stratford a year ago.
The other is looking for a measure of revenge and the second trip to the finals in their school history.
When they will play is a different story.