Softball team looks to further postseason run

Ready+to+go--+Junior+Hanny+Wolkoff+gets+ready+for+the+incoming+pitch+during+a+game+verus+St.+Paul+Catholic+last+year.+The+team+is%0Ahoping+to+deepen+their+postseason+run+this+upcoming+year.
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Softball team looks to further postseason run

Ready to go-- Junior Hanny Wolkoff gets ready for the incoming pitch during a game verus St. Paul Catholic last year. The team is
hoping to deepen their postseason run this upcoming year.

Ready to go-- Junior Hanny Wolkoff gets ready for the incoming pitch during a game verus St. Paul Catholic last year. The team is hoping to deepen their postseason run this upcoming year.

Ready to go-- Junior Hanny Wolkoff gets ready for the incoming pitch during a game verus St. Paul Catholic last year. The team is hoping to deepen their postseason run this upcoming year.

Ready to go-- Junior Hanny Wolkoff gets ready for the incoming pitch during a game verus St. Paul Catholic last year. The team is hoping to deepen their postseason run this upcoming year.

Matthew Arena, Sports Editor

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The upcoming softball season holds much excitement for both the players and coaches as they have faith in their ability to go all the way and win a state championship. After graduating only a few key players, the team returns with a core leadership group and fresh faces. The team has beaten some of the top ranked in the state, which has developed their confidence over the past few seasons.

“We had three walk off wins last year highlighted by [senior] Carolyn Piera’s game winning home run versus Watertown in the second round of the CIAC tournament. [Carolyn] has made the All Conference team all three years during her softball career at [the high school]. With junior Anna Mihalek, a two-time All Conference pitcher, on the mound we always feel we can compete with anyone. We also beat St. Paul’s, who lost in the Class S state final and beat us the previous season 15-1, in walk
off fashion last season,” head coach Brian Harvey said.

Going into the season, the team not only holds confidence in their ability to play in the clutch, they haveconfidence that key returners will have an impact in their ultimate goal.

“We lost two starters but have a very strong core group returning led by Piera and Mihalek along with senior
outfielders Maddy Blades, Allie Daugherty and All Conference first baseman Hanny Wolkoff,” Harvey said.

According to Harvey, they will continue to stress defense in their practices and drills both physically and mentally, and new junior varsity coach Bryan Upchurch brings new energy to the team.

“Coach Upchurch brings a wealth of knowledge and a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for the game and is only going to help our girls get better,” Harvey said.

Defense is a top priority for the team heading into the season as Mihalek believes that it will put the team over the top and will guide them through the season.

“I think the team has to work on communication in the field to prevent other teams from scoring runs and making sure that we are smart on the base paths so we can put up as many runs as we can per game,” Mihalek said.

With the returning talent, it was important that the team scheduled tougher teams throughout the regular season to prepare for the best throughout the tournament, as well as building chemistry will all new members.

“I am really looking forward to welcoming the new freshmen onto the team and creating new bonds with them. I am also looking forward to our new schedule since there are a few new teams, which will give us a bit of a challenge,” Mihalek said.

The players are up for the challenge, as the defending Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) Divisional Champions are excited to show that wasn’t a fluke and are ready to compete for the the state title.

“No question. We are all very excited about the upcoming season. Last year, we finished 17-6 and made it to the Class L Quarterfinals before losing to the number one team in the state: Masuk High School, who went undefeated at 27-0,” Harvey said.

The team will face hard competition throughout the regular season. Their run to defend their CCC title runs through Glastonbury twice, as well as Avon and Simsbury. They will travel on April 17 to Southington, one of the best teams in the state, followed by
another tough away matchup against St. Paul Catholic on May 15.