SOUTHINGTON - Southington softball has a tradition of winning.
Since 1978, Southington has been in 22 Class LL state tournament title games, and has been named state champion 17 times.
“There’s a good tradition at Southington, that you know we do have a lot of good teams a lot of the years,” senior pitcher Kara Zazzaro said. “We do try to be the best team with the group of girls we have. We’re just trying to keep up with that same mentality and I think we’re doing a good job so far.”
The Blue Knights entered the Class LL tournament this season as the top seed with a record of 20-1. The only blemish on their record was a non-conference matchup against Norwich Free Academy. Southington suffered a 2-0 loss, but the team didn’t get down on itself.
Since then, the Blue Knights have been on a 10-game winning streak, including their 19-1 win in the second round of the state tournament against New Britain on Wednesday.
“I don’t necessarily know if it’s pressure, but more of a tradition and more of an expectation to just do the little things,” Southington head coach Davina Hernandez said.
“There’s not necessarily that expectation to win a state championship. There was a few years where there wasn’t one. But there is that expectation to give it everything you have, play as a team. I think the girls hold a high expectation for themselves.”
A big piece of the tradition is being a good teammate, which is just as much part of the tradition as winning is.
On Wednesday, after three innings, a majority of the starters were taken out.
But once they were out of the game, the players didn’t go far. Each player was behind the cage, sitting on buckets cheering everyone on.
“We have a great team and a couple younger players,” shortstop Chrissy Marotto said. “But everyone’s working together really well and we’re playing really well together.”
Southington will continue its run in the state tournament today against ninth-seeded South Windsor.
The Blue Knights have already played against the Bobcats this season. At the end of April, Southington shut out South Windsor 3-0.
But that doesn’t mean today’s game will be easy.
“We’re looking to win the championship,” Marotto said. “We’re just going game by game for right now and looking to see how we’re going to do and hopefully get the win going forward.”
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860)801-5096