Rockville softball’s Lady Rams look to repeat as Class L champs
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Thu., Mar. 28, 2013
Winning a championship is difficult. Repeating as champions is even harder. That's the message coach Frank Levick hopes he is instilling in his Rockville High School varsity softball team, which took home the Class L title last year.
Most of the championship squad is back, with only one key starter – third baseman Alissa Graf – having graduated last year. While the squad has a lot of confidence in its abilities, the coach reminds the players that there is a whole season ahead in which anything can happen.
“I try to tell them that every day, that because they won last year, now they have a bullseye on their backs,” Levick said. “Everybody's going to try to come in here and [try to] whup you. So, every day, you have to work harder and harder.”
Levick said the cool spring has kept the team's practices in the gymnasium longer than usual, but what may help is the players' off-season workouts. “We spent a lot of time weight-lifting this winter,” he said. “More than last year, so the kids are really strong and have been working on their core.”
One minor concern is a nagging knee issue with catcher Chrissy Pettengill, but Levick said she should be back to full strength soon.
What he's seen on the field in just a few practices and scrimmages does have the coach optimistic. “We're hitting the ball really well,” Levick said, adding that pitcher Courtney Oliva has worked hard to improve in the off-season, and will complement ace Kaitlyn Lajoie even more than she did last year. Also, Lajoie added a new weapon to her arsenal.
“Our pitching is going to be really good,” Levick said. “Courtney worked a lot with her pitching coach. She got her drag fixed and she's throwing really hard. Kaitlyn worked hard with Molly Rathburn from Eastern [Connecticut State University]. She's got a rise ball now that really takes off. If we can get that rise to hit where we need it, she's going to be pretty potent.”
The Rams begin their title defense with the opening game vs. Bristol Eastern on April 3, before heading to East Hartford on April 8.
For a complete schedule, visit www.casciac.org.