Each spring, softball players from the seven schools in the Record-Journal coverage area produce great performances and lasting memories.
The 2017 season was no exception. Southington made the Class LL state final and had to beat SCC champion Cheshire in the semifinals to get there.
Wilcox Tech went a perfect 20-0 in the regular season and then won three more to repeat as Constitution State Conference champs.
Maloney overcame a forgettable start of the season and rallied to win its final four games to earn Scott Aresco’s 17th straight postseason berth in 17 seasons.
Young Sheehan and Lyman Hall squads took big steps forward and qualified for states. LH coach Rob Brewster collected his first-ever state tournament win. His Trojans ended up losing in the second round of the Class LL brackets to the eventual champ, Trumbull.
With all of the strikeouts and longballs in the books, here is our second annual All-Record-Journal softball team. Like last year, it was difficult to whittle the team down to 10 with such great talent.
We have at least one representative from each school. Here's the starting lineup.
Machaila Arjavich, Platt: The junior completed her third year in the circle for the Panthers. She was also a force in the middle of the Platt order, hitting .622.
In 53 at-bats, Arjavich totaled 33 base hits, including seven doubles, four triples and a home run. She crossed home plate 20 times. She struck out only twice all season.
Anna Hendrickson, Maloney: The junior outfielder had a breakout year at the plate. She hit .377 with two doubles and three triples. She drove in a team-high 15 runs and also scored 16 times.
The Spartan was particuarly tough on cross-town rival Platt. In the two meetings, Hendrickson was 5-for-9 with two triples.
"She was a huge asset for us this year," Maloney coach Scott Aresco said. "She was a leader in the outfield and was a huge bat in the middle of our lineup. She single-handedly beat Platt this year with a combined seven RBIs. She's just a workhorse and works really hard and is just such a team leader."
Renee Sousa, Wilcox Tech: The senior third baseman is a two-time All-R-J nominee. She shifted over from shortstop as a junior and was a big part in Wilcox Tech's 23-1 season.
Sousa smoked the ball all year to the tune of a team-high .683 batting average. She also blasted eigtht homers, good for second on the Tribe.
"Renee is the epitome of a leader, from a stats perspective to how good she is with the girls," Wilcox Tech interim head coach Bruce Haney said. "She is the prototypical captain. She encourages and leads by example. She’s vocal. She's a great student and an overall great person. You want the younger girls to say, 'This is where I want to be' or ‘I want the same aura around me when I get older.'"
Erin Dighello, Sheehan: The junior completed her second season as starting pitcher by guiding the Titans back to the state tournament.
"Erin was very succesful," said coach Sarah Wyant. "She finished the regular season with a 2.10 ERA. She works batters extremly well. She and (catcher) Carolyn Biel work well together. Erin knows what she needs to do and executes what she needs to do. It may not be striking out every single batter, but she makes girls chase pitches, pop balls up or ground out.
"That’s a lot of outs this year. Erin does what she is supposed to do for us to get those easy outs."
Kara Zazzaro, Southington: The junior pitcher excelled in her first season as the primary hurler for the Blue Knights. She pitched Southington to the Class LL state final.
Zazzaro finished 20-3 with a 0.90 ERA. She fanned 212 batters in a 132 innings. The right-hander walked only 29.
"Kara, in my opintion, is one of the best pitchers in the state, hands down," Southington coach Davina Hernandez said. "That’s not just coming from me. That’s coming from many of our opponenets. In particular, from many of our strongest opponenets."
Zazzaro verbally committed to Division I Iona College before the start of the season.
Maighread Scafariello, Southington: The senior completed her third year as the Blue Knights starting backstop. She did not allow a stolen base.
Scafariello was also one of the most feared hitters at the plate. She hit .471 and smoked a team-high six home runs and 37 RBI in 25 contests. She tied for the team lead for doubles (8) and triples (3).
"Marighead was unstoppable this year," Southington coach Davina Hernandez said. "If you look at the three of their stats and when you come to our games, its very clear that they are elite players. Their stats really showed that this year. I think this is a really big honor and I know they are really excited to be selected."
Scafariello will play at Division II Aldelphi.
Amanda Delorme, Southington: The senior finished her season leading the Blue Knights with a .530 batting average. She led the team in runs scored (31) and was second with 34 RBI.
The right fielder was also selected All-State.
"I'm very happy for Amanda," Hernandez said. "I also think the three of them have been great leaders this year. I have no complaints about any of my players this year. They’ve been focused and have done a good job bouncing back from losses. They are trying to get better every day. In our big games, all three were humungous contributors. They are very deserving. I’m proud because they deserve this honor."
Abby Abramson, Cheshire: Connecticut's Gatorade Player of the Year has been brilliant in the circle for the last two years. The Penn-bound senior was an obvious All-State player and pitched Cheshire to its first-ever state championship as a junior and she followed it up with a semifinal appearance this spring.
"She deserves every single honor that she gets," Cheshire coach Kristine Drust said. "She deserves it from her hard work and the person that she is and the type of leader that she is."
Abramson is a two-time SCC Player of the Year. She was the Class LL MVP in 2016. She was also named the Record-Journal Softball Player of the Year after her perfect junior campaign.
Sam Simione, Cheshire: Senior Sam Simione hit .394 in the middle of Cheshire's potent order, enough to earn her All-State honors.
She's also been a steady defender in center field for the past few years.
"She's one of our captains," Drust said. "She’s just a strong kid. She’s funny and her personality is lighthearted and easy going, but yet when she gets on the field she’s strong mentally and a physical kid.
"She helps us on both sides. She holds our kids accountable. She's a great leader and is able to relate to many of the different personalities on the team. She’s fast, strong and she’s one of our best players."
Simione is heading to Division II Bentley University, where she will play field hockey.
Morgan Tuscano, Lyman Hall: The sophomore has been a starting catcher for the Trojans in each of her first two years. This spring, Tuscano hit .386 and was tops on the team with three triples.
"She's a trusted bat in the lineup," Lyman Hall coach Rob Brewster said. "She consistently hits the ball hard. Even when she makes an out."
Brewster added that Tuscano is a calming influence behind the plate.
"She can help a pitcher's emotions," the coach said. "She has a great connection with our pitcher and handles the ups and downs very well. Those are things that won't necessaraly show up in the boxscore."