Bobcats softball starts season with 12 straight victories

By Kevin Hotary - Staff Writer
Colchester - posted Mon., May. 16, 2011
(From left) Makaila Kowalsky, Kelsey McCarthy and Michelle Dander take some practice ground balls. Photos by Kevin Hotary.
(From left) Makaila Kowalsky, Kelsey McCarthy and Michelle Dander take some practice ground balls. Photos by Kevin Hotary.

Going into this season, Bacon Academy softball coach Anne DiPierro believed that her team would be strong. But even she couldn’t predict a 12-0 start and a number-one division ranking.

“I expected us to have a good season. It’s a nice surprise, though, that we’ve started off as well as we have. This is the best start in Bacon’s history,” said DiPierro before the team’s 12th victory in a recent game against Stonington.

With the loss of only one senior from last year’s team, the motivation provided by having their season cut short with a second-round tournament loss has remained with the team.

“We figured we’d come back pretty strong this year,” said DiPierro, who credits the team’s success to strong hitting and defense, which is particularly important now, with the pitching mound being moved back 3 feet.

“That’s actually added more to the hitting game. You don’t see as many strikeouts, and there’s a lot more of a defensive game. And I think we’re solid because we make a minimal amount of errors,” said DiPierro. 

With four seniors in the starting lineup, the team’s veteran leadership and experience is also one of her team’s strength’s, said DiPierro.

“We play well as a team. We string hits together. The top five in the lineup are strong hitters, but we also get hits out of the bottom two. We’re overall just pretty strong in every aspect right now,” she said.

Like all teams, DiPierro said the Bobcats “have our days when we struggle. It’s part of the game.” And game 13 proved to be unlucky for her team, as Griswold – a team DiPierro said is consistently strong against Bacon – posted a come-from-behind 7-6 victory last Thursday.

Nonetheless, as DiPierro said before the Stonington game, “This has been a very good year.”


Coach’s Corner-

Bacon Academy Softball Coach Anne DiPierro - 16th year as head coach.

With a veteran-laden team, this season’s start is the best of her coaching career. “I think we’re really strong right now. Our experience has helped us,” said DiPierro. “I expected us to do well, and as always we have our sights on winning the ECC straight-out. And we always have that goal of getting to the state finals.”

Seniors: Allie Carey, Jamie Correia, Michelle Dander, Doree Martinez


Players to Watch-

Jamie Correia, Number 7, Senior, Pitcher:

Playing varsity softball since she was a freshman, Correia has been the starting pitcher for the last two years, having come back from a torn ACL. “She’s gone through that and has come back really strong. She’s one of our top hitters.  Defensively, she’s a great player, and she’s one of the leaders on the team,” said DiPierro. Correia had pitched five shutouts in her first 11 starts this season.


Michelle Dander, Number 10, Senior, Third Baseman:

The team captain, Dander has been playing since her freshman year. “She’s been a strength on the team for the four years,” said DiPierro. Very quiet as a freshman, “now she’s the voice of the team,” DiPierro said. “Defensively, she’s errorless. She’s got the most accurate arm and she’s been quite a leader. She’s a smart kid. She’s just all around a good kid.”

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