Putnam High School's Clipper softball team off to a great start

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Putnam - posted Mon., Apr. 8, 2013
Short stop Kaylee Shippee battles a grounder and the dust it kicks up. Photos by D. Coffey.
Short stop Kaylee Shippee battles a grounder and the dust it kicks up. Photos by D. Coffey.

The Putnam High School softball team opened its season with a 5-4 win against the Windham Whippets on April 5. Head coach Kari Dalia liked what she saw from her Clipper team. “These girls are developing a better understanding of the game – where to throw the ball and how to make plays - since last year,” she said. 

Positions and lineup are still flexible this early in the season, but Dalia is counting on seniors Taylor Trudeau (third base), Kaylee Shippee (short stop), Erica Anderson (second base) and Jessica Phillips (catcher, outfield) to lead the team.

Freshman pitcher Mackenzie Livingston is a welcome addition. A solid performer, Livingston brings physical skills and maturity beyond her years, according to Dalia. “We lucked out. Not only does she throw strikes, she has several different pitches,” Dalia said. “Softball is all about pitching and Mackenzie is fantastic. She plays year-round and she's confident out there. And I can keep her for four years.” 

The top returners for the Clippers are Phillips, Shippee, Trudeau and center fielder Caitlin Barrette. Dalia is confident of her infield, especially the left side of the field where Shippee and Trudeau anchor the defense. She expects her outfield to improve as the season progresses. And she is hoping that freshman Kassie Kania proves to be another strong player for the team. The Clippers had a strong freshman turnout this year, and Dalia and assistant coach Sarah Pellegrino expect great things from them over the next four years. 

The Clippers have four good bats in Livingston, Shippee, Trudeau and Savannah Nichols. Dalia expects Kania to be a strong contributor as well. “There will be a lot we can improve on offensively,” she said. “My biggest concern is getting more than five or six girls to hit the ball hard. But I think we'll develop that as we go.”

“I'm excited for the senior class because they are very strong leaders and I'm excited for this freshman class because they come in as a strong group. They will only develop into better players. We have a bright future," Dalia said.

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