East Windsor softball wraps up regular season
By Jennifer Holloway - Staff Writer
East Windsor - posted Thu., May. 26, 2011
It was a rainy Monday afternoon when the East Windsor High School Panthers headed onto the softball field to play Avon. In a season plagued by bad weather, the varsity girls were 7-10, needing to win two of their last three games to make the tournament. “Can you pitch in this?” coach Karen Drake asked senior pitcher Briana Matteson. Jokingly, Matteson replied, “I can pitch in a blizzard.”
The Panthers took defense for the top half of the first inning, and Matteson pitched her best, changing balls every two throws, as the mist turned into a steady downpour. In the bottom of the first, the teams took a rain delay that moments later turned into a canceled game, as field conditions were too poor to continue.
Monday was Senior Day for East Windsor, with five varsity and JV players receiving roses. Despite the rainout, the team headed into the cafeteria to continue their celebration with dinner.
The team’s captains this season are seniors Matteson, Kelly Lemay and Kayla Hersom. Drake credits them with setting the tone for the season, changing the way the team worked together. Several freshmen tried out this year - so many that the school was able to field a junior varsity team for the first time in a long time - with four making the varsity team.
“[The captains] worked with them and encouraged them,” Drake said. “They know my expectations and helped the freshmen meet those and develop as players.”
Looking back on the 2011 season, Drake said it has been a success. “I see success based on where you started and where you ended,” she said. “Their skill and knowledge of the game has changed and improved so much.”
Drake cites the team’s defense as its main strength. “[It] has pulled them out of some trouble,” she commented. She said the sweetest victories for her this season were the ones the team won by a run or had the winning hit. “This year we won every single close game - that says a lot,” the coach said.
East Windsor High School Softball Coach Karen Drake
Number of seasons: 24
Thoughts on the season: “We had a successful season; the strong leadership of the captains made a big difference this year,” Drake said.
Briana Matteson - Number 7, Pitcher: Senior pitcher Matteson is strong in her fielding, making accurate throws to the base. Having received the coach’s award for the 2010 season, Matteson said her senior year has been the best, as she feels the team really stuck together and had more fun than any other year.
Kelly Lemay - Number 19, Left Field: Lemay, a senior and consistent honor roll student, said hitting is her favorite part of the game. She excels at tracking long balls in the outfield and agreed with Matteson that this season has been the most fun. A highlight from the season was a win against Bolton that went into extra innings.
Kayla Hersom - Number 9, Short Stop: Senior Kayla Hersom loves diving for the ball as a short stop, and she received All-Conference honors this season. Commenting that her fielding is unstoppable, one of her highlights happened when she threw out the tying run at home plate in a game against Bolton.