We have finally come to the end of our weeks-long project to highlight the best championship moments from the CIAC Network for the 2012-13 seasons. To catch up, check out all the previous installments right here (part 1; part 2; part 3; part 4; part 5). Tomorrow, we let democracy run its course as we open up the voting to let CIAC fans weigh in on which of the moments highlighted should hold the honor as the best moment from the past year. But before that, there are four final sports to cover from the spring championship season.
Weston and St. Joseph have a history of great tournament contests, and the two teams put together a thriller in the class S final. Weston seemed to have the match in hand in the second half before St. Joseph put together a run, coming all the way back to tie the game at seven. Weston freshman Austin Drimel then stepped up with the biggest goal of the match, putting Weston on top for good as the team hung on to earn the 9-8 win and the state crown.
Pitching was the big story of the class S softball final between Oxford and Terryville. And quite frankly, there isn’t enough time to show all the highlights of Oxford hurler Ashley Guillette and Terryville ace Jamie Bridge as the pair combined for 23 strikeouts, just a handful of hits, and no runs through the first six innings. Yet in a 0-0 game it only takes sudden flashes of offense to make the difference and that is what Oxford got in the bottom of the seventh with back-to-back doubles to open the inning giving the team a walk-off win and its first state title.
It might not have been quite as dramatic as a walk-off, but St. Joseph’s game-winning hit did come in the ninth inning, well into extra innings. Again, pitching was the story of this game with St. Joseph and Northwestern each plating just a single run, and none since early in the contest. Both teams threatened, but were unable to score in the eighth, but finally the Cadets broke the deadlock with this RBI double from Matt Batten to provide the winning margin.
Sometimes the key moment in a game comes in the final inning, or even extra innings. Or maybe it is late in regulation. Sometimes, though, the key moment can come early on, and it is only seen as a pivotal moment in retrospect. This is the case with the girls lacrosse class M final where Wilton jumped to an early lead over New Canaan, and the teams then jockeyed back-and-forth in the early going. That is until Elizabeth Miller scored to break a 3-3 tie and spark a big New Canaan run that carried the Rams to the championship.