MIDDLETOWN — The summer tradition of the Tri-Town Women's Softball Tournament continues in 2023.
The A Division champions from Southington, Wallingford and Middletown will compete for area softball supremacy on Wednesday night at Van Buren Moody Elementary School in Middletown.
Southington has won the title the last two years. A year ago, it was with Westaff. This year, Southington has a new representative in HQ Landscaping.
Middletown’s Mid-State Painting is back in the Tri-Town after finishing second in 2022.
As for Wallingford, the same team returns, just under a different sponsor. The team that was Pancheros in 2022 is Oakes Garage 2023. The squad is still headed by player/manager Ashley DeRose.
The Wallingford squad was dominant this summer, going 17-1 in the regular season. The lone defeat was by forfeit.
Oakes Garage was equally dominant in the postseason, outscoring its two playoff opponents by a combined 34-3.
“Last year was our first year together as a team, so this year we have really settled in and found our groove,” DeRose said. “We are excited to come back to Tri-Town and hopefully redeem ourselves from last year.”
DeRose is a second baseman. Also on the roster are Jackie Ferreira (RC), Amanda Santiago (LF), Becca Costello (3B), Marissa Costello (SS), Amy Fazzino (LC), Mallory Rochefort (1B), Jasmine Galante (1B/DH), Stephanie Lavado Berghorn (RC), Amanda Bruder (C), May Muli (P) and Sarah Kowalski (RF).
The Wallingford reserves are Sarah Jones, Courtney Werdann and Alyssa Werdann.
Southington’s HQ Landscaping enters the Tri-Town as a dark horse after a fifth-place regular season finish. However, the team got hot in the playoffs
“With the sponsor of HQ we have not made the Tri-Town, but the team has been together for a while with multiple sponsors,” coach Jennifer Russell said. “The last time we were at Tri-Town was 2017 and we can away victorious.”
HQ Landscaping entered the Southington postseason as the No. 5 seed and defeated the No. 4 team in the quarterfinals, the top seed in the semis and then the No. 2 team in the finals. The Southington team enters Tri-Town with a 14-9 record.
“Every team looks forward to winning the championship so they can make it to the Tri-Town Tournament,” Russell said.
Members of the Southington team are Lisa Plourd (1B), Maddie Verderame-Malachowski (2B), Jeana Lee Burke (SS), Heather Danscak (3B), Liz Nitz (LF). Stephanie Kowalec (LC), Kailey Egbert (RC), Michele Lucas (RF), Jennifer Russell (C) and Leah Hettrick Milner (P).
Mid-State Painting was the top team all season in Middletown with a 9-1 record. Mid-State topped the No. 4 seed in the semis and the No. 3 team in the finals to advance to the Tri-Town for the second season in a row.
Members of the teams and the players home towns are: 3B Kourtney Lasso (North Haven), 1B Brittney Dorflinger (Durham), C Bridgett Eros (Meriden), OF Mallorie Dorflinger (Berlin), OF Jocelyn Hewitt (Southington), SS Jen Howland (Cromwell), DH Ashley Hunter (Cromwell), 2B Mallory Streat (Wallingford), OF Erika Langell (Portland), OF Heather Sweeney (Wallingford), P Kristin Dorio (Cromwell), OF Kara Quealy (Rocky Hill), OF Evie Evans (Burlington), C Ashley Flynn-Natale (Middletown) and OF Angela Lischeid (Meriden).
The team is coached by Bob Dorflinger.
The Tri-Town is run by tournament director Greg Post.
“I want to thank the Middletown Park and Rec department for doing a great job preparing the field and all of the time since I took over the event,” Post remarked. “I’m happy the Tri-Town continues to continue onwards and there’s a rumor that Wallingford may host the event next year. We are still in the early planning stages for it, but they are open to hosting both the men and women next year.”
As for the 2023 women’s Tri-Town, Post said the teams are evenly matched.
“There’s a good mix of youth and veterans. All three teams are good and it’s going to come down to late-inning offense and defense,” he said. “It should be a great night of softball.”
The action starts with Middletown against Wallingford in the 6:15 p.m. opener. Southington faces the loser of Game 1 at 7:30, then the winner of Game 1 at 8:45.