Putnam softball works on offense after rough opening
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Putnam - posted Mon., Apr. 11, 2011
Putnam High School softball coach Steven Smith thought his team would measure up well against Norwich Tech in their first game of the season on April 6. But after six innings, the mercy rule was invoked after Norwich had run up the score to 15-3.
“Last year we beat Norwich Tech 5-2,” Smith said. “We lost a second game 5-4, but we were up 4-3 in the last inning. There was an error and they ended up beating us.”
Smith thought his team was going to be able to stay right with Norwich Tech like they did last year. “We were confident going in. Unfortunately, they found our weaknesses right away and jumped all over them,” he said.
With several top players returning, and behind the strong pitching of Elisa Formiglio, the Norwich Tech Warriors were just too tough for the Clippers to beat.
The first Norwich batter reached first base after the pitch got lost in the dirt at home plate. She stole second and third, before making it home on a line drive to left field. Norwich stole a number of bases during the game.
The Clippers have experienced returning players in Stephanie Baumuller, Megan Heaney, Holly Desrosiers and Taylor Trudeau. But there are also some inexperienced players who need to learn the game and the skills to go with it in order to compete with strong teams.
Three of the team’s players went to a pitching clinic this winter. Smith is happy to note that Baumuller has been able to get her pitches in much faster. “She went from 45 mph at the beginning of camp to 52 mph at the end of camp,” he said. “The velocity on her ball has changed dramatically.”
Smith relieved Baumuller in the fifth inning and put Taylor Trudeau in as pitcher to close out the game.
“Stephanie is our number-one pitcher,” Smith said. “She has really worked hard this year. I'm proud of what she’s accomplished.” But Smith added that his pitching staff needs to keep working hard in order to improve. He'd like to see Baumuller go longer into each game. He'd also like to see his other pitchers get ready for prime playing time.
And, of course, Smith would like to see his team improve on offense. “It's pretty much the same thing that I told them on day one,” Smith said. “We don't hit. We have to hit, hit, hit.”
Putnam High School Softball Coach Stephen Smith.
Seasons with the team: 2
“One of our goals is to finish in the top three in our division, so we can make the Constitution State Conference tournament,” Smith said.
Stephanie Baumuller – Pitcher, Senior, #14: “Stephanie has put in a lot of time from January to March on her pitching. She's got a lot more speed on her ball, which matters, especially with the mound moved back 3 feet,” Smith said. “She's worked really hard this year at pitching camp.”
Holly Desrosier - Catcher/Third Base, Junior, #11 – “Holly is my tough-as-nails catcher,” the coach said. “She can play anywhere. She's one of four players from Putnam on the All-Star team two years in a row.”