Lady Rams carry shutout streak into softball tournament

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Fri., May. 31, 2013
Behind ace pitcher Kaitlyn Lajoie, Rockville hasn't given up a run in seven games... and counting. Photos by Steve Smith.
Behind ace pitcher Kaitlyn Lajoie, Rockville hasn't given up a run in seven games... and counting. Photos by Steve Smith.

Members of the Rockville High School varsity softball team have found ways to kick their game into high gear for the Class L tournament and the chance to defend their 2012 championship title. The Lady Rams completed a 19-1 season and entered the tournament as the 3-seed, but after that one loss on May 1, they have not allowed a single run in eight regular-season games and one 7-0 win against Ledyard in the tournament. In that stretch, they have outscored opponents 119-0.

A big part of those shutouts has been ace pitcher Kaitlyn Lajoie, who notched 17 strikouts against Ledyard, and has fine-tuned her already-stellar pitching that earned her a full ride at the University of Bridgeport next year. “She's throwing her best game right now,” said coach Frank Levick. “How can you lose? She's peaking at the right time and is hitting her spots. She's unhittable right now. She's so focused. She doesn't let anything disturb her when she's on the mound.”

Levick said Lajoie has added a turn to her right at the start of her wind-up, which generates more power from her legs, and drives the ball forward harder.

Offense is waking up, too. Levick said senior Michelle Correia is 99-percent reliable at delivering a clutch hit or bunt when needed, and Franklin Pierce-bound senior Megan Gardiner knocked a homer versus Ledyard. The whole team, he said, is providing pop top-to-bottom.

“That's when you know you're a complete team – when you can go from one through nine and get production,” Levick said, adding that his bench players can hit and run well, too.

Levick said he was feeling a little worried about his seniors, during the time of year when things like prom and graduation are on their minds, but they seem to have re-focused.

“They want another championship,” he said. “If we stay focused, we're going to be hard to beat. I have so much confidence in these kids to pull through and get done what needs to be done.”

At press time, the Lady Rams were preparing to face 6-seed Berlin on May 31. For a complete tournament bracket, visit www.casciac.org.


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