MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America

Category: Connecticut Softball

  • The first 14 innings of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class LL state title game were simply building up the suspense. Then Rachel Dube ended it all with one swing of the bat, eliciting a raucous celebration.

    The Southington (Conn.) senior catcher hit the biggest home run of her life Saturday night when she won a state title with a walk-off home run to left field in the 15th inning to beat Amity 1-0 for the title.

    Photo by Ray Shaw

    Rachel Dube, Southington

    She told the New Haven Register that she considered bunting. Looks like she made the right choice.

    “They were catching everything, so when push comes to shove, we were just trying to get someone on,” Dube said. “We were just trying to put a score on the board, so you had to do what you had to do. I had two strikes on me, and I knew I had to swing, but I was actually thinking about bunting on that hit. But then I said, ‘Just go for it.’"

    Her coach, Davina Hernandez, told the newspaper: “We talked about (bunting). I said, ‘Take a cut.’ She took a cut, and was right on it. I said, ‘No, hit away, but crowd the plate even more.’ She hit away and just got a hold of it.”

    The big blast gave Southington its 16th state title in 20 years in Connecticut and helped the team finish a perfect 24-0.
  • Stonington (Conn.) softball pitcher Andrea Chiaradio struck out the first batter from Norwich Free Academy that she faced Saturday.

    Then she struck out the second, then the third, fourth and fifth batters. By the time it was over, Chiaradio had fired a perfect game – with all 21 outs coming on strikeouts – in a 3-0 win.

    "We threw a lot of drop curves and rise balls," Chiaradio told "I was trying not to think about (a perfect game). I was just focused on getting the outs."

    As reported by the website, Chiaradio, a junior, is pitching at the varsity level for the first time this season. Last year, she was the starting centerfielder for the Bears.

    Chiaradio said she was nervous when the final batter of the game fouled off some pitches, but she pumped a fastball by her for the final out. She improved to 3-1 in the pitcher's circle after having lost her previous start.

    "It was unbelievable to watch," Stonington coach Ann-Marie Houle told the website. "I don't think she understands the magnitude. We're so sarcastic as a coaching staff, I had to say, 'Andrea, for real, this is a big deal. I've never been more proud.' I've never seen her pitch so confidently."