WLHS Raiders’ softball program looks to rebuild

By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
Windsor Locks - posted Wed., Apr. 18, 2012
Windsor Locks catcher Tyler Breedlove makes the toss down to second in the team's April 16 match up with East Granby. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.
Windsor Locks catcher Tyler Breedlove makes the toss down to second in the team's April 16 match up with East Granby. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.

Team USA softball coach Mike Candrea once said, “Softball is a game of making great pitches at the right time, being opportunistic by getting a run at the right time and playing good defense.” First-year coach and Windsor Locks High School graduate Kristen Smith is putting that sage advice into play, rejuvenating a struggling WLHS softball program, and molding the Raiders back into a tournament-caliber team.

WLHS traveled a rocky road in 2011, ending the season at a disappointing 1-19. Starting 2012 on a positive note, Smith set three goals: strengthen offense, continually improve defense, and remain energetic and positive during games. Coach Dan Senofonte and manager Mike Fusick will assist Smith throughout the season, instructing the team of 13 varsity players with an emphasis on improving fundamentals.

In addition to senior captains Maggie Sayers, Nikki LaPierre and Briana Hoynoski, Smith anticipates big defensive performances from Tyler Breedlove (So., catcher), Viki Helberg (Jr., short stop) and Megan Dimick (Jr., third base). On the offense, the coach looks to Shannon Lynch (Jr., left field) and Kasey Shemanskis.

While crediting defense as the team’s greatest overall strength, Smith is working on ways to improve performances at the plate and string hits together. “This team has a good attitude,” Smith said. “They have a passion and willingness to learn at practice.”

In an early scrimmage win over Buckley (15-1), and later victory over Avon (8-4), the team momentum began to build. “Every team in our conference will be a good test for Windsor Locks’ talent because each game is a learning experience,” Smith said. “Win or lose, we always take time to reflect on our game individually and as a team.”

WLHS comes up against division rival Stafford at home on April 27. A full schedule can be found at www.casciac.org.


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