Numbers low but hopes high for Suzie softballers
By CHRISTOPHER TREMBLAY, Staff Sports Writer
Taking over the Sutton softball team, Matt Milaszewski knows that this year’s squad is very young, and the sport doesn’t have a lot of numbers to even put together a freshman lineup. Despite the cards he has been dealt, Milaszewski is hoping to build the Suzies into a formidable team.
“We are definitely a very young team with only one senior and two juniors,” the coach said. “Between the varsity and junior varsity team we have a total of 19 girls playing and we can not have the two teams play on the same day as the numbers really don’t allow it.”
Shortstop Carolina Padula is the team’s one and only senior and has been a productive player for the Suzies for some time now. Milaszewski is looking for his lone senior to continue to play solid defense while taking a big leadership role on the team. Her continued leadership and ability to help the younger girls will bode well for the program’s future.
Following Padula as the team’s next to eldest players are juniors Natalie Hayes and Emily Britton. Hayes is a versatile individual that can play numerous positions on the field and according to the coach each game will dictate where she plays that day. She is also very vocal as a leader and that in turn helps the younger players.
Britton, unlike Padula and Hayes, is relatively new to the Suzies’ squad and although she has played softball in the youth program she has not stepped onto a field in some time. She is a player who was recruited by the coach to come out for the team being the numbers were so low.
Freshman Kaila Wheeler finds herself currently as the team’s most likely number one pitcher as she has shown that she can handle the responsibility at this point of time. Sophomores Hannah Pratt and Audie Deshais are taking the next step at earning a spot in the circle and Milaszewski says they will most likely get a look at if needed and they keep up their hard work for the position.
“We’ll see how things go,” he said. “I really don’t want to really have to rely on only one pitcher, but right now Kaila is our top pitcher.”
One other athlete, who also plays travel ball during the summer, that the coach is looking to help the team build its future will be Reagan Giguere. She is an experienced player that brings stability to the field and she has made herself quite comfortable at second base.
Playing in the Dual Valley Conference, Milaszewski knows that it’s not going to be a cake walk, but believes his young team has all the assets to become a team that can compete.
“We are a young team and do find ourselves in somewhat of a building year. Right now, all we can do is take to the field and do our best,” Milaszewski said. “Obviously you want to win as much as you can to qualify for the State Tournament, but things are still cloudy, and I just don’t know at this point.”
As the season moves along one game at a time the incoming coach is looking for his young squad to take what they’ve learned and apply it to the field; hopefully by the time the tournament rolls around Sutton will have not only qualified but be prepared to make a run through it.