Fermi softball looking for bounce-back year

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Fri., Mar. 30, 2012
Junior Danielle Lavender is set to play defense at second base. Photos by Colin Rajala.
Junior Danielle Lavender is set to play defense at second base. Photos by Colin Rajala.

The Enrico Fermi High School softball team hopes to build off of its momentum from the end of its 2011 season, when the team went 3-0 to finish the season 6-14, and in the bottom half of the Central Connecticut Conference East division.

“I’ve been coaching for 22 years and I have never seen a team like this,” said Sean Sweeney, Fermi head coach. “Our goal is to make the tournament. They want it, which is half the battle.”

The Falcons will be led by senior captain and catcher Melissa Urbon, as well as junior captain and second basemen Danielle Lavender.

“I think we’re going to do a lot better and make a statement in the league this year,” Urbon said.

“We have great chemistry,” Lavender said. “We all get along, work well together, and have fun.”

Fermi’s rotation was thin last year, having only one pitcher, an underclassman. In the 2012 season, that pitcher returns as a junior and they add a freshman pitcher, who will help split the load on the mound.

Junior pitcher Liz Rogers is expected to bolster down the rotation and be the ace of the staff. Helping out Rogers is the newcomer Liz Lusardi, who has been working hard, according to Sweeney. He believes that she can pitch solid innings for the team and make an immediate impact.

“She’s adjusting very well and fits in with all of us,” Lavender said. “She’s going to get good experience this season.”

The Falcons are still a fairly young squad; the team of 14 only has four seniors. Despite their inexperience, Sweeney said that every player on the roster can play at least two positions, which will help individuals and the team improve.

“Our earliest struggles have been someone making a mistake and feeling bad about it,” Sweeney said.

“As seniors, we have to encourage them to not give up,” Urbon said. “If you mess up, you just need to shake it off.”

Fermi will look short stop/catcher Same DelConte to break out in her sophomore year.

“She’s the best all-around player on the field,” Sweeney said. “She has the potential to be an all-star.”

Sweeney also hopes that junior centerfielder Kerry Davis will make an immediate impact for the Falcons.

“It’s her first year playing,” Sweeney said. “She was my point guard in basketball, so I know her well. She is by far the fastest kid in the field.”

Sweeney expects Rocky Hill and Rockville to be at the top of the league and thinks that Tolland could surprise people.

“I’m a realist, I expect us to be better,” Sweeney said. “We can surprise some people because our kids have been working hard.”

Fermi looks forward to their regular season finale at home versus Enfield High on May 23.

“These guys genuinely like each other; everyone wants to be here for each other,” Sweeney said. “They will do anything for each other - you can’t coach that.”

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