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  • Greg Lederer

Cheshire Spring Sports Teams Shine In Busy Monday Slate

Cheshire's softball pitcher Jenica Matos posted a shutout on Monday. She recorded 11 strikeouts, yielding just three hits and four walks. Photo by Greg Lederer.

On Monday, Cheshire softball player Tai Byrd earned seven RBIs, four of which came on a grand slam in the sixth inning.

For CHS softball on Monday, Karla Carangelo opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first inning.

by Greg Lederer

Cheshire Sports Media

On Monday, Cheshire High School softball recorded their ninth consecutive victory, 13-0, over West Haven (6-10). Sophomore Jenica Matos pitched a three-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts and four walks, while junior Tai Byrd sparked the offense with grand slam, a single, and seven RBIs (career high).

“I’m so happy for the team. We deserve this,” said Byrd, of Cheshire’s 13-1 start. “I remember when I came here in my freshman year. I had heard such great things about the team and it feels great to have been part of it.”

On Monday, CHS jumped ahead in the first inning, as sophomore Jordan McCue led off with a single, stole second base, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a two-out RBI single by senior Karla Carangelo.

The Rams pushed the lead to 4-0 during the third. Sophomore Ava Pearson dropped a double down the left field line and she advanced to third on a throwing error.

On a bunt by Byrd, WH tried to get Pearson at the plate, but she slid safely. Carangelo reached on a single and then junior Bailey Vitanza came through with a two-run single.

“We always have a lot of energy, but when we see girls get some big hits, it gets us going even more,” explained Carangelo.

In the fourth, sophomore Lyla Blair and Pearson both singled to set the table for Byrd, who drove a two-run single to center.

WH threatened to score in the sixth. Senior Holly Waibel (single) and junior Natalie Gallo (walk) reached to start the inning, but Matos used two strikeouts and a pop out to strand them.

“It felt good. I knew I had my girls behind me,” reflected Matos. “The girls were on fire with the bats today, so I was confident out there.” 

The Rams capped the scoring with seven runs in the bottom of the sixth. Junior Julia Miller (walk), McCue (walk), and Pearson (single) loaded the bases and then Byrd smacked a grand slam to right field.

“I’m happy with the way I swung the bat,” said Byrd. “I wasn’t comfortable the first time we played them (in a 4-1 win on April 15 at West Haven). I made some adjustments and I saw the ball better today.”

After Carangelo singled in the sixth, sophomore Celeste Elliott came in to run. Senior Taylor Kozlowski walked and sophomore Molly Fleming followed with an RBI double.

To finish the game in the mercy rule, sophomore Avery Radford supplied a two-run single.  

With the win, CHS swept the Blue Devils in the regular season.

On Wednesday, Cheshire hosts Guilford (12-3). First at 3 p.m., the teams will pick up a scoreless game that was suspended for darkness in the 10th inning on April 17 at Guilford.

After that contest, there will be a 20-minute break and then the rivals will play their second game.

Girls’ Lacrosse (8-5)

Cheshire pulled out a 13-11 victory at Guilford (8-5). Junior Mollee Merritt tallied a personal-best three assists and tied her career-high goal total (three), while sophomore Tema Caplan netted a team-high four goals.

Junior Sarah Goldstein and sophomore Tylie Lawless both scored twice. Sophomore Lauren Kilpatrick (assist) and junior Allie Grove also put in goals.

Sophomore goalkeeper Georgiana Sheehan made seven of her nine saves in the second half.

On Thursday, CHS hosts Staples (7-5) at 6 p.m.

Girls’ Tennis (9-2)

With a 5-2 win, CHS swept their regular-season series with Daniel Hand (6-5) and pushed their win streak to three matches. Junior Alex Orlins (6-1, 6-0), senior tri-captain Anja Josef (7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-4)), and junior Eva Curran (7-5, 6-4) were individual winners.

Juniors Ashley Lentini and Tannistha Thumatti (7-5, 6-2) and sophomores Ava Dicicco and Brianna Hawkins (6-3, 6-0) teamed for doubles victories.

Cheshire returns to action on Tuesday, traveling to play Guilford (16-1) at 5 p.m. The Grizzlies won the first meeting, 6-1, on April 15 at CHS.

Boys’ Tennis (13-2)

Cheshire extended their win streak to seven matches, posting a 5-2 victory at Branford (9-6) to sweep the regular-season series. Sophomore Brayden Stratton (6-1, 6-3), freshman Mark Laskin (6-0, 6-0), and senior captain Shawn Lawless (6-4, 6-4) picked up singles victories.

Junior Finn Hickey and sophomore Luke Hays (6-0, 6-2) and juniors Luke Hayden and Phil Dickinson (6-0, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5)) won in doubles.

On Tuesday, Cheshire competes against Amity (10-2) at 3:45 p.m.

Boys’ Volleyball (11-3)

The Rams rallied to get their third consecutive victory, 3-1 (15-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-22), at Shelton (8-6). CHS went 2-0 against the Gaels in the regular season.

Sophomore Bradley Fang distributed 32 assists, adding six digs, two kills, an ace, and a block. Junior Bryan Rochefort supplied eight assists and a dig.

Senior tri-captain Will Allen (13 kills, three digs, two aces, two blocks), junior tri-captain Matti Lilback (nine kills, two digs, ace, assist, block), and junior Jacob D’Addona (eight kills, three digs, assist) were hitting leaders. Senior tri-captain Connor Hayes also contributed five kills, three blocks, three digs, and an ace.

Junior Gordon Johns stepped up with a personal-high six digs and four aces, along with recording six kills. Junior James O’Connor chipped in four kills and a dig.

On Wednesday, Cheshire hosts Amity at 6 p.m.

Boys’ Golf (7-2)

CHS posted a 162-181 road victory over Hamden at Laurel View Country Club in Hamden. Senior captain Jack Brewster led Cheshire with a 38.

Senior Josh Wildstein and freshman Touraj Rajabipour both shot a 40. Senior Jacob Berkowitz added a 44.

On Tuesday, the Rams travel to Pine Orchard Country Club to face host Branford at 3 p.m. 

Baseball (3-12)

At University of Connecticut’s Elliott Ballpark, Cheshire came up short 3-2 against Sheehan (8-7). CHS took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, but Sheehan came back with runs in the third and fourth.

Cheshire tied the game in the bottom of the fourth, however, Sheehan scored the eventual winning run during the sixth and won the series in the regular season.

For CHS, senior co-captain Kyle Cyr went three-for-three with three singles and scored both runs. Senior Chris Kobylanski supplied a triple.

Juniors Drew Sargolini (walk) and Dan Hayden had an RBI single each. Junior Kaden Weinberg also singled in the game.

Senior co-captain Aiden Erickson pitched six innings, yielding five hits and two walks. He finished with four strikeouts.

Sophomore Stephen Fitzmaurice (hit, strikeout) worked the seventh.

On Tuesday, the Rams come home to face Holy Cross (13-3) at 4 p.m.

Girls’ Golf (5-3)

CHS placed runner-up (196) to Berlin (184) in the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Individual Tournament at Grassy Hill Country Club in Orange. Sophomore Julia Paek finished third overall with a 45.

Senior captain Sophia DelRosso (47), junior Olivia Beach (51), and sophomore Piper Dooling (53) joined Paek as Cheshire scorers.

On Wednesday, the Rams head to Middlebury’s Lyman Orchards Golf Course to face host Mercy at 2:25 p.m.

Remainder of Tuesday’s varsity schedule:

Boys’ Lacrosse (10-2)

The Rams host Iona Preparatory School (New York) at 7 p.m.

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