Softball team set to out-rebound opponents

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Tolland - posted Fri., Apr. 13, 2012
Tolland's Katie Ackerley smacks a base hit in the Eagles' 5-2 win over Fermi on April 11. Photos by Steve Smith.
Tolland's Katie Ackerley smacks a base hit in the Eagles' 5-2 win over Fermi on April 11. Photos by Steve Smith.

Coach Tom Drury thought that his varsity softball team would take a little while to get into “softball shape,” since many of his starting players were also on the girls' basketball team that went all the way to the Class M state final just a few short weeks ago. But, after a 3-1 start, the senior- and junior-rich Tolland High School softball team looks like it may already be in mid-season form.

“I've got everybody but two starters back, so it's a very mature team and a very athletic team,” Drury said. “It does take them a while to get their swing down and their throwing motions down.” He added that last year's team didn't really gel until about mid-season, but after a convincing 15-0 win over Manchester on April 12, they may be well ahead of schedule.

As an example of the team exceeding early expectations, Drury did say that pitching ace Jess Olson doesn't have her usual velocity back, but has yet to give up an earned run this season. “She's still darn effective, so we look pretty good,” he said.
In practices, Drury said the focus is on hitting. “They're smart kids, and they pick things up quick,” he said.

Another advantage the basketball players have is height. Olson is 5' 8'' and her sister Sam is 5' 10''. First-baseman/outfielder Jacqui Forman is close to 6 feet tall. “I think our entire infield is taller than our boys' baseball team,” Drury said.

The coach said his team will be competitive in the conference, with Rockville and Rocky Hill as their chief rivals. He said that the team may still struggle in the first part of the season.

“Early on is the time to get us,” he said. “We'll drop a couple of games early on. We'll find out a lot in another week or two because we have a lot of good competition coming up.”

Tolland travels to RHAM on April 18 and Somers on April 20 before hosting Rockville on April 23.

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