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AROUND THE HORN: Area players help ECSU softball reach D-III super regionals; Odermatt, Arduini close fine careers at Endicott; Cooney finishes on a tear; Burt third in NE hurdles

AROUND THE HORN: Area players help ECSU softball reach D-III super regionals; Odermatt, Arduini close fine careers at Endicott; Cooney finishes on a tear; Burt third in NE hurdles

WILLIMANTIC — The Eastern Connecticut State University softball team, with contributions from Wallingford natives Sara Pisanelli and Katelyn Miller, beat Tufts University 5-1 on Monday morning to capture the Medford, Mass. Regional in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Pisanelli, a junior shortstop out of Sheehan, singled and scored on a close play at the plate to spark a key two-run burst in the third inning and was ultimately named to the All-Regional. Miller, a freshman infielder from Lyman Hall, scored the second run of that third inning, in which the Warriors extended a 3-1 lead to 5-1.

Eastern, which features Cheshire native Megan Hodgdon at catcher, advances to one of eight best-of-three Super Regional tournaments scheduled for the upcoming weekend. The Warriors (32-11) will play Rowan University (33-13). The eight Super Regional winners go to the NCAA Division III national tournament May 23-28 in Tyler, Texas. 

Arduini, Odermatt close career at EC

BEVERLEY, Mass. — The Endicott softball team saw its 2019 NCAA Division III Tournament run come to an end with an 8-2 loss to host Kean University in the Union, N.J. Regional.

And, with it, collegiate careers ended for seniors Hayley Arduini of Southington and Olivia Odermatt of Cheshire.

Odermatt, by going 1-for-2 in the finale, closed her season reaching base in eight straight games. Arduini, with a solo blast in an earlier regional game against Staten Island, hit four home runs in the postseason.

Endicott finished 33-7. The Gulls won the Commonwealth Coast Conference Tournament and went 1-2 in the Union Regional in the NCAA tourney.

Odermatt batted .500 for the postseason with nine hits, three doubles, one home run and five RBI.

Arduini was .304 with seven hits, two doubles, a team-high four home runs and eight RBI.

Ex-Knight Cooney closes season on a tear

GROTON — Southington native Brayden Cooney went down swinging as the UConn-Avery Point baseball team bowed out of the NCAA Division III Juco regionals this weekend in Rochester, N.Y.

Cooney opened the tournament belting two home runs, legging out a triple and driving in four runs in a 12-5 win over Mercyhurt. 

He was 1-for-3 with a solo home run and two runs scored in a 21-5 loss to Monroe Community College, then collected one hit and two more runs in the season-ending 12-11 loss to Mercyhurt.

For the tournament, Cooney was 5-for-11.

Burt third in New England hurdles

NEW HAVEN — Meriden native Briana Burt’s third-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles helped the Southern Connecticut State University women's track and field team place fifth in the New England Outdoor Championships this weekend at Jess Dow Field.

The event featured 41 teams from multiple divisions. The Owls were fifth behind four Division I squads.

Burt was third in the hurdles in 13.77 seconds. The Maloney grad also ran on the 4x100 relay team, which was second in 47.33 seconds.

Simione, Bentley headed to NCAAs

WALTHAM, Mass. — For the first time in program history, the Bentley University golf team has qualified for the NCAA Division II Men’s Championship.

The Falcons got there by placing second in the Division II East/Atlantic Regional at the Totteridge Golf Club in Greensburg, Pa.

Chris Simione of Cheshire played a big role in Bentley’s performance. The senior tied for 18th with an 11-over 227. Simione turned in rounds of 77-71-79 over the three-day event.

YMCA launching youth golf program

MERIDEN — The Meriden YMCA is now taking signups for its new youth golf  program.

Lessons are open to kids ages 8-13 and will be led by Wallingford Country Club golf pro Jay Mezei in the Meriden YMCA’s new golf room.

Participants will be introduced to the basics of the game — techniques, skills and rules and etiquette of the sport. 

Lessons begin next Monday night, May 20 and run for five weeks, with no class on Memorial Day.

Fees are $25 for full members and $35 for program members. Contact Meriden YMCA Sports Director Justin Ferreira for more information at 203-235-6386. Register at the Meriden YMCA at 110 West Main Street.

Midstate Rugby wins Southington showdown

SOUTHINGTON — The Midstate Rugby Club’s boys high school team improved its record to 7-2 with a 27-17 victory over host Southington.

Midstate was led by Denys Fuentes of Cheshire. Fuentes connected on two tries, two conversions and a penalty kick. 

Ben Falivene and Terry Lockwood scored tries for Midstate, which faces Darien on Thursday in the regular season finale.