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Welcome to the New Haven Register high school sports blog where our talented staff of Chris Hunn, Joe Morelli, Dan Nowak and Mike Pucci will keep you up to date on everything to do with high school sports in Connecticut. Mike Pucci's Gridiron Glory blog for high school football remains. We hope you enjoy and feel free to join in the conversation.

Friday, May 29, 2009

CIAC Softball Pairings Released

The softball tournament pairings were just released, and there should be plenty of intriguing matchups in the four classes.

Below is an overview of what may happen on the road to the finals on June 12-13.

Class LL
Defending champion:
Overview: Masuk, the two-time defending champion, is the No. 1 seed, and received a first-round bye. The Panthers will play the winner of No. 16 Pomperaug vs. No. 17 Amity, from the SCC.

No. 8 Cheshire, also from the SCC, is also in the upper half of the bracket, and could face Masuk in the quarterfinals.

In the lower half, the area is well-represented. No. 31 Shelton plays at No. 2 Fitch; No. 15 Bunnell hosts No. 18 Fairfield Ludlowe; No. 3 Mercy entertains No. 30 Danbury; and No. 19 West Haven visits No. 14 Manchester.

Outlook: This is Masuk's title to lose. If the Panthers defeat Lauralton Hall in the SWC tournament final this weekend, Masuk will up its winning streak to 74 games. Masuk can play a maximum of four games in the Class LL tournament. If the Panthers will the title, they will tie Seymour's state record for consecutive wins (78). However, Cheshire, No. 4 Simsbury, No. Fitch, Mercy, No. 7 Trumbull and No. 10 Newtown all have the talent to compete with the Panthers. This class is loaded, as usual.

Class L
Defending champion:
North Haven
Overview: No. 1 Naugatuck, which went to the Class LL final last season, has a bye into the second round. The Greyhounds could potentially face No. 17 Law, from the SCC, if the Eagles can get past No. 16 Wilton.

No. 4 Lyman Hall, fresh off the SCC title, is a threat to win it all. No. 12 Sheehan is also in the top half of the bracket.

No. 10 North Haven, No. 3 Hand, No. 19 Foran, No. 27 East Haven and No. 22 Guilford are all in the bottom half of the draw.

Outlook: Naugatuck, Lyman Hall, Hand and No. 6 Bristol Eastern can potentially emerge into the semifinals, but any number of teams can win this class, including No. 8 Maloney.

Class M
Defending champion:
Lauralton Hall
Overview: No. 1 Seymour and No. 4 Lauralton Hall are both in the upper half, and should meet in the semifinals. No. 8 Griswold and No. 13 Stonington, which is playing for the ECC title, are also threats in the top half.

No. 2 St. Joseph, No. 10 Lyman Memorial, which went to the Class S final last season, No. 3 Rocky Hill, No. 14 Suffield and No. 6 Woodland are in the bottom half.

Outlook: Lauralton Hall and Seymour would be many fans' ultimate semifinal. St. Joe's looks like the team to beat in the bottom half.

Class S
Defending champion:
Overview: Windham Tech is the top seed and received a bye, as did No. 4 Coginchaug, No. 2 Terryville and No. 3 Cheney Tech.

No. 7 Platt Tech, No. 14 Old Lyme, No. 19 Hale-Ray, No. 27 Old Saybrook and No. 11 Derby are all in the bottom half of the bracket, which is arguably the toughest path to the final in this class.

Outlook: Coginchaug has a favorable draw, and could be playing in another final. A handful of teams could emerge from the bottom half.

Click here to see the complete pairings.


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