Central softball moves on to final while Eastern sees tremendous run end

For one Bristol team, it was euphoria. For the other Bristol team, it was the end of an improbable run.

The fifth-seeded Bristol Central softball team knocked off top-seeded Danbury, 4-1, on Monday afternoon in a Class LL semifinal at Stratford’s Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field. The Rams will play in the state championship game for the first time since reaching the Class LL final in 2005. Their opponent is Southington, which defeated Fairfield Ludlowe, 7-3, Monday night in a rematch of the 2021 Class LL final. Central improved to 22-4.

About 20 minutes away, No. 21 Bristol Eastern was shut out by top-seeded Masuk, 3-0, in a Class L semifinal at West Haven’s Frank Biondi Field. The Lancers were trying to reach the state championship game for the first time since 2010. Eastern’s season ended at 13-11.

Central head coach Monica Hayes just missed playing for a state championship. She graduated from Bristol Central in 2000, a year before the Rams played in the Class LL final. When the game ended, Hayes shared hugs with assistant coaches Kim Curry and Jay Maia. Sophia Torreso fired a complete game two-hitter against Danbury, the only run scoring on Kaylee Drago’s solo home run in the seventh inning. Torreso struck out 12 and walked just one in a dominating performance. Leah Sklenka and Lorelei Stancavage had RBI singles for Central, which scored its other runs on an error and wild pitch.

For the first four and a half innings of the Eastern-Masuk semifinal, Lancer right-hander Ali Tellier and Panther right-hander Kathryn Gallant were locked in a terrific pitchers’ duel. Tellier’s shutout lasted until the fifth inning, when Natalie Lieto hit a two-run home run to put Masuk ahead, 2-0. The Panthers added a run in the sixth inning for a 3-0 advantage. Meanwhile, Gallant was perfect against Eastern two outs into the sixth inning. A walk and a hit by Jazmyn Browne ended the perfect game and no-hitter, but Gallant got out of the inning. Janessa Gonzalez added a hit in the seventh inning.

PHOTO CAPTION: Sophia Torreso struck out 12 and pitched a complete game for Bristol Central softball in its 4-1 Class LL state semifinal win over Danbury at Stratford’s Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)