Hand Softball, Boys' Lax Fall in State Semis
The Tigers battled top-seeded and defending LL-champion Southington on June 10 in the Class LL State Tournament semifinals at West Haven and took an 8-0 loss. Hand (4th in Class LL) finishes the year 20-6 overall, making trips to both the SCC and state tournament semifinal rounds following a 16-4 regular season.
Hand fell to top-seeded and undefeated Darien 18-3 on June 11 at Fairfield Ludlowe in the Class M State Tournament semifinals. The Tigers finish the year 11-9 overall after starting it 1-6.
Two-time defending state-champion Hand tied for sixth place with Wethersfield by shooting a 318 for the Division II State Championship on June 11 at Fairview Farms in Harwinton, a par-72 course. Leading the way were Brian Carlson (72, tying for the 2nd-best solo score), Tommy Pellatt (77), Justin Freund (81), Sam Jablonski, and John Collins (each with 88s). The state title was shared by New Canaan and Notre Dame-West Haven (swinging 306 apiece).
Carlson bogeyed on holes No. 1, 2, and 18, yet birdied on 14, 16, and 17. For Pellatt, he had a double bogey and six solo ones, but he rebounded on a trio of birdies. Freund found birdie on the sixth and 13th greens; Jablonski on seven and 17; plus Collins on the first and sixth holes.
"I would say transportation issues influenced our scores. All of the boys said the same thing to me: 'I'm striking it well but I'm just not scoring,'" said Head Coach Jim Holleran. "Every player was a bit frustrated with his score, but in a one-day tournament, you can't always count on every player playing their best. I was proud of how the boys persevered through a difficult situation, and I think we can be proud of our day despite not having a great score."
The Tigers took part in the State Championship on June 10 at Orange Hills Country Club and finished 11th as a group by shooting a 403. Scoring for Hand on the par-74 course were Gabrielle Martin (78; tied for 2nd in individual scores), Caroline Gabriele (98), Erin Schroeder (109), Katherine McKeon (118), and Morgan Werth (120).
For Martin, she landed an eagle on the fourth hole to erase two early bogeys, and then she also scored a pair of birdies on the back nine with holes 10 and 17. Gabriele was able to shoot for par on three strokes for the ninth hole, while Schroeder also shot a par-4 with the seventh hole. Martin earned All-State Team honors and will compete in the New England Championship on Monday, June 23 in New Hampshire.
"We are committed to improving our position in the rankings for next year and finishing in the top 50 percent of the State Championship," said Head Coach Jon Wilson, whose squad had its best season mark at 15-2 this spring. "The Hand players are looking forward a full summer of tournament play and a few lessons to improve their individual games."
Girls' Outdoor Track
Hand traveled to Middletown for the State Open on June 9 and finished 24th with nine points. Samantha Schaefer was seventh in the 200 (26.01), while Kathryn Phillips was eighth with the 800 (2:20.00). The 4x100 relay team of Justin Griffin, Hailey Raudat, Molly Citrin, and Schaefer came in fourth (49.80); plus the 4x400 group of Citrin, Lauren Brady, Griffin, and Phillips ran to eighth (4:03.74). Schaefer was also 18th in the 100 (13.05).
Boys' Outdoor Track
The Tigers came in 27th with nine points for the State Open in Middletown on June 9. Ian Bergere was runner-up for the pole vault (13-6), while in that same event, Rich Sangster tied for seventh (12-6). Also representing Hand was Kyle Boling for the pole vault (10th, 12-6) and Hunter Stokes with the javelin (17th, 148-11).
The Class L state-champion Tigers had representation at the State Open Tournament. In singles, Alex Rieger fell in the first round to Old Saybrook's Jack Rothman (6-3, 3-6, 2-6). For doubles, Andrew Goldfeder and Kyle Fay lost in the first round to Louis McKenzie and Shaw Speer of Greenwich (4-6, 4-6).
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