Ellis Tech softball has mix of experience and new talent
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Danielson - posted Tue., Apr. 12, 2011
H.H. Ellis Technical High School’s softball team took on the Academy of the Holy Family in its first home game of the season on April 7, and won by a score of 10-6. The Eagles have many returning players from last year, five of which are starting seniors.
Coach Drew Mizak expects his team to be strong defensively this year. With only one senior lost to graduation last year, and a roster of very good freshman players, Mizak thinks he’ll have a nice mix of veteran experience and young talent.
The experienced players are in the infield, which means his new players are filling outfield slots. “They’re still learning the game,” Mizak said. “The challenge of being in the Tech system is that you have an interesting mix of girls who have played the sport since they were young, and you have girls who have never touched a softball before.”
Another challenge was having one and a half weeks to practice and pull the team together this spring.
“It's tough to have a week and a half to bring the talent together,” Mizak said. “It's tough to take a girl who has never pitched and teach her to pitch in a week and a half. That's pretty much what we had to do.”
Mizak and assistant coach Sarah Bacchiochi both wish they had the opportunity that the baseball teams had to bring in their pitchers and catchers one week earlier for practice and warm-ups.
“Some girls are finding their skills and some girls are just learning the game,” Mizak said. “We feel it’s necessary to have a pitcher and catcher week because we need some more pitching talent.”
The weather has also not cooperated early on in the season. “Practices have been indoors, which hasn't benefited us,” the coach said.
Nevertheless, Mizak believes his team is strong this year. “We're looking forward to some more wins,” he said.
Ellis Tech Softball Head Coach Drew Mizak.
Seasons with the team: 2
Assistant Coach: Sarah Bacchiochi, 2 seasons
Thoughts on the season: “Last year was a rebuilding year and that rebuilding process continues this year,” Mizak said. “At the same time, we're trying to create a positive atmosphere. It takes a while to do that.”
“We stress positive attitude all the way through,” Bacchiochi added. “We expect sportsmanship from our players.”
Aliana Paetzell - Second Base, Freshman, #8 – “Aliana normally plays center field, but because of circumstances out of our control, we needed someone to fill in and she stepped right up,” the coach said. “She is very talented. She was a little uncomfortable at first, but she made some good plays and she had some good hits.”
Sara Brodeur – Catcher, Senior, #5 – Brodeur is the only catcher for Ellis Tech, so Mizak will have an important spot to fill for next year. She was selected to the first team in the CSC conference last year. “She always gives 110 percent,” Mizak said. “She'll never complain. She's a good athlete, an excellent kid, a good student. She has a good attitude.”