SHS girls’ softball takes the field for new season

By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Fri., Apr. 15, 2011
SHS catcher Emilie Peirolo runs down the bunt in a game with East Granby. Photos by Kathryn Elliot.
SHS catcher Emilie Peirolo runs down the bunt in a game with East Granby. Photos by Kathryn Elliot.

Off to a 2-0 start, the Stafford High School Lady Bulldogs softball team is in it to win it this year. Coming out on top in their season opener against Enfield(21-4), the team took on East Granby with equal enthusiasm, resulting in their second win (10-4) and a positive outlook on upcoming games.

“We have a really good bunch this year,” coach Steve Budaj said. “In total, we have 28 girls: 13 varsity and 15 JV. All of the players are very talented and add a great deal to the team.”

Ending 2010 with a 13-8 record, the team was knocked out of the NCCC quarterfinals by Somers. “That was tough,” Budaj said. “Somers gave us a really good game, they always do. I’m looking forward to playing them again this year.”

With upcoming games against Coventry(April 20) and Somers (April 25), competition will be fierce. “The NCCC is loaded with great teams and coaches,” Budaj said. “If you don’t prepare your team for every game, they can and will beat you.”

Injury was an early obstacle for the team. “Our senior captain, Jody Buckley, is out recovering from a torn ACL. She is almost at the end of her recovery, so we hope to have her back on the field with us very soon,” Budaj said.

Focusing on upcoming games, Budaj is taking one game at a time. “There are a lot of great teams in our division. The key will be to take one game at a time and keep practicing. We have some really talented players this season and I’m looking forward to seeing them do great things.”

A complete schedule can be found on



Coach’s Corner-

Stafford High School Softball Head Coach Steve Budaj

Number of seasons with team: 14

Assistant Coach: Don Bradway

The season ahead: “My ultimate goal for the team this year is to make it to the state tournament and advance farther than we did in 2010. We have a great group of girls and we should do well,” Budaj said.

Senior: Jody Buckley                  

Complete schedule on


Spotlight Players-

Dani Clark – Junior, Center Field: As a baseball to softball transition player, Clark began playing at the age of 6. “I love the game,” she said. “When we all run out on to the field, with everyone cheering us on, it just feels great.” Clark also plays basketball and soccer for SHS.


Emilie Peirolo – Junior, Catcher: Peirolo started out playing baseball at the age of 6 and transitioned to softball in sixth grade. She is the team’s starting catcher. “I love the whole game,” she said. “I get excited at the first pitch.” In addition to softball, Peirolo plays field hockey.


Jody Buckley – Senior, Pitcher: A four-year starter and team captain, Buckley is currently sidelined with a torn ACL. When healthy, she is the team’s starting pitcher. “I love striking people out,” she said. Buckley also plays soccer and indoor track, and plans on attending Mitchell College.

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