The first round of city series action highlights the upcoming week as the high school sports season passes the midway mark.
Bristol Central will host Bristol Eastern in the first softball meeting of the season this afternoon at 3:45, while the Rams and Lancers baseball squads will clash tonight under the lights at Muzzy Field.
City series lacrosse in also on tap this week, as the St. Paul boys host Bristol Eastern under the lights tonight, while the Falcons’ girls host the Bristol co-op team on Saturday. The Central and Eastern golf teams will also battle for the first time this season this afternoon at Chippanee.
The city series games launch a busy and crucial week for area teams as they look to clinch or improve their postseason standings.
This afternoon’s softball game features a pair of teams that have seen some very opposite results over the first half of the season. While the Bristol Eastern girls have enjoyed a strong 6-2 start to the season, the Central girls have struggled with a very difficult schedule over the first month.
The Lancers have parlayed a group of veteran players behind a solid freshman pitcher to take over the top spot in the CCC South Blue Division, although the Lancers got a bit of a taste of what life is like against the upper echelon of the CCC in their 10-2 loss at Middletown in their last outing. The Lancers will be looking to snap an eight-game losing streak against the Rams. Eastern’s last win in the series was an 18-inning marathon victory on 2012.
Central has won its last two outings after a 1-5 start. The Rams have a veteran pitcher in Ali Holden, but a very young lineup made up almost entirely of freshman and sophomores playing behind her. The Rams have faced some of the top teams in the state and have struggled offensively, but will have plenty of pride on the line today as they look to extend their win streak.
The baseball teams will play tonight for the first time this season at Muzzy Field and like the softball teams, bring contrasting records into the fray.
Eastern is 6-3 overall and 6-1 after an 0-2 start. The Lancers have been solid in all aspects of the game in the past two weeks, with the only blemish in that stretch a loss to 8-1 Tolland on the road. The Lancers picked up two easy wins over the bottom two teams in the CCC South last week.
Central has struggled to a 4-4 overall record after dropping two close games last week, including a 3-2 loss at fifth-ranked Wethersfield last Friday. The Rams have had solid pitching and defense, but have struggled at the plate over the first half of the season.
Eastern won a pair of close decisions over the Rams a year ago and has won the last four meetings between the schools.
At 4-4, the St. Paul boys are the only area lacrosse team with a .500 record at midseason. They will battle a Bristol Eastern team under the lights tonight that has struggled to score. Three of the St. Paul wins have come against winless opponents.
In addition to their game tonight, the Falcons will have a rematch with Holy Cross, a team they beat 10-4 earlier in the season, at Post University on Wednesday and host 1-7 Woodstock Academy on Thursday.
The Lancers are 2-5 overall, with both of their wins coming against winless Wamogo. Eastern has been outscored 61-6 in their four games against CCC opponents. Eastern has a CCC South game against Tolland at home on Wednesday and visits Old Saybrook on Saturday.
The St. Paul girls are one of the area’s two-win teams. They will host the Bristol co-op team in a 2 p.m. start on Saturday. Bristol has not won since its opening day victory over Holy Cross.
Both teams have several games on the schedule this week before they square off on Saturday. St. Paul takes on 5-2 Lewis Mills twice this week, in Burlington today and at home on Wednesday. The Falcons will visit winless Amistad on Friday.
The Bristol girls have two tough CCC South opponents in Tolland on Wednesday and Newington on Friday, both at the Bristol Eastern facility.
The golf match this afternoon features two young teams which have struggled through the early season. Whichever team comes home with the victory today will have its first win of the season.
After today’s city matchups, all four baseball and softball teams will be setting their sights on postseason qualification, with a busy schedule on tap.
St. Paul’s softball team has clinched a postseason berth and is making a move toward a top seed with its 12-1 record, which includes five shutouts and eight double-digit scoring games. But the Falcons have their work cut out for them this week as two of the top NVL teams come to town.
Holy Cross, whose only loss has been a 1-0 decision to Seymour, will be in this afternoon and the Falcons will host 8-1 Watertown on Wednesday. Watertown’s only loss was a 12-6 decision at the hands of St. Paul in the second week of the season. It won’t get much easier for the Falcons when they visit 8-3 Oxford in another tough NVL battle on Thursday.
The Central baseball team still needs four wins to qualify. Central will be back at Muzzy Field on Wednesday night to take on Plainville for the second time this season. The Blue Devils got a 3-2 win in the first meeting. The Rams host 2-4 Simsbury on Thursday and 5-3 Newington on Friday.
Central’s softball squad needs five wins. The Rams are on a two-game winning streak, but their stretch of challenging games continues this week with a visit to 8-1 RHAM on Tuesday and at 7-1 Newington on Friday. Central will also play at 2-6 Plainville under the lights on Wednesday.
Eastern’s girls are two wins from the postseason. After their battle with Central today, the Lancers face a stiff test at 7-2 New Britain under the lights at Martha Hart Park on Thursday and another big challenge at perennial South division contender Maloney, also under the lights at the Dunn Sports Complex in Meriden on Friday. The Lancers will also play at 2-9 East Hartford on Thursday.
The Eastern baseball team also needs two more wins. The Lancers will be at Hall tomorrow before coming home to face a couple of tough CCC South opponents with New Britain at Eastern on Wednesday and Maloney coming in on Friday.
St. Paul’s baseball team needs one more win to get the chance to defend its CIAC state championship. The 7-2 Falcons will host 7-4 Sacred Heart this afternoon. They play at Ansonia (in the midst of a seven-game losing streak) on Tuesday, take on 2-9 Torrington at home on Wednesday and wrap up the week at 4-7 Derby on Friday.
Terryville’s baseball team moved back into post season contention last week with three wins to climb above the .500 mark. The Kangaroos need three more wins and play four games this week including two against 3-6 Northwestern. Terryville opens the week tomorrow at Litchfield, a team they beat 16-1 the first time around. The Kangaroos play Northwestern at home on Wednesday before traveling to Winsted to take on the Highlanders again on Thursday. Terryville wraps up the week at Thomaston on Saturday morning.
The Terryville softball team continues to have its struggles despite its 16-14 win over Gilbert to close out last week. Terryville needs to win five of its remaining ten games and has two games this week against teams it has already beaten. The Kangaroos host Thomaston this afternoon at 4:45 then take on Litchfield, a team they beat 14-6 in the first g-round, in Terryville on Tuesday. Terryville will travel to Northwestern on Wednesday before coming home for a rematch with Gilbert on Thursday.
Bristol Central’s boys lacrosse team has lost four in a row and the week ahead will be another challenge. the Rams will be looking for their first CCC South win at home tonight against a Newington team that has had some challenges of its own this season. the rams will visit Berlin for another CCC South battle in a 6 p.m. start at Sage Park on Thursday.
After Friday’s big invitational meet, local track teams return to dual meet competition this week. Bristol Eastern has a tough one at defending CCC South champion Wethersfield on Tuesday. St. Paul takes on NVL foes Woodland and Wilby in Beacon Falls on Tuesday and Terryville host Shepaug and Gilbert on a Berkshire League battle the same day. Unbeaten Bristol Central gets a bye week in the CCC South, but the Rams will travel on Thursday to take on Lewis Mills in Burlington. The week wraps up with the big Middletown Invitational meet on the weekend.
In tennis and golf, area teams continue to battle with several big meets on the schedule for the week. Central’s golfers face a tough tri-meet tomorrow with CCC South foes Wethersfield, New Britain and Newington. the Rams will compete in an all day tournament at Oxford Greens Country Club on Thursday. Eastern’s only other match this week is at New Britain. St. Paul visits Torrington today and Crosby on Thursday and Terryville battles Shepaug and Litchfield Tuesday and Wolcott Tech and Wilcox Tech on Thursday, all on the road.
In tennis, Bristol Central boys host Berlin Thursday and Platt on Friday while Bristol Eastern hosts Plainville today. On the girls side, the Lancers will take on Newington in their only home match of the week on Friday, the Rams battle Middletown today and Newington tomorrow and St. Paul’s only home match of its four this week is against Woodland at Peck Park on Thursday.