Strong bats power Plainfield High School softball team

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Plainfield - posted Mon., Apr. 15, 2013
Plainfield High School softball
Coach Jim Langlois calls Plainfield High School short stop Alexis Williams an ECC standout. Photos by D. Coffey.

When Plainfield High School powered past Lyman Memorial, 9-4, in an April 10 Eastern Connecticut Conference showdown, it did so behind the strength of its bats. Mackenzie Church hit a home run over the fence to put the Panthers ahead for good. But Church isn't the only heavy hitter on the team.

“We hit the ball really well,” said coach Jim Langlois. “We have probably six or seven good hitters, and even the players lower in the order can really hit.”

Langlois was putting players through their paces at practice on April 11, hitting flies and grounders one after another. He calls these drills “everydays,” putting the players in situations they would see in a game, so each play would become second nature to them. “I want them to know what to do with the ball when it's hit to them in certain situations,” Langlois said. He wanted muscle memory to take over, so they practiced making outs at first, turning double plays, and throwing runners out at home. The players were loose. Though it's the beginning of the season, the team’s 2-0 record in the ECC (2-2 in overall play) put the players in good frames of mind. Still, Langlois isn't close to being satisfied.

“We want to get better at every facet of the game,” he said. “We're working on every thing.”

The Panthers are grounded at several key positions. Behind the leadership of senior captains Katie Marcoux, Alexis Williams and Mackenzie Church, the team has been steadily getting better. Sophomore Keri Lehtonen is turning in some good performances on the mound. “She's done extremely well for us,” Langlois said. “She's a real competitor.”

The coach calls short stop Alexis Williams one of the best players in the entire ECC, with her athletic play and dangerous at-bats. “She can really hit,” Langlois said. Catcher Sydney Meyers is turning into one of the best receivers the Panthers have had. “She does a great job of framing pitches and keeping the ball in front of her all the time,” Langlois said.

Senior Katrina Roys, who joined the team for the first time this year, has started two games this year in left field. Langlois said it's rare for a first-time senior to do as well as Roys has done in so short a time. Devin Kuhl, a transfer from Ohio, has added another nice dimension to the team in right field. “She's going to be a really good player,” Langlois said. And he is also pleased with the athletic play and strong offense of second baseman Chivon Burns.

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