Bristol Eastern softball enjoys progress over past year

Published on Thursday, 31 May 2018 20:40
Written by DAN ORENCOLE

@ORENCOLEDAN

BRISTOL - Wednesday’s second round loss to South Windsor in the Class LL state tournament for the Bristol Eastern softball team was a sign of progress after being eliminated in the first round last season.

“It’s partially matchups,” Lancers coach Scott Redman said. “In LL you have so many good teams. When you get to the second round there’s no gimmes. I mean, you look at the teams that are left and the top eight teams that are left after today are all hammers. They’re all stud teams. In order to really go deep in the LL tournament you, number one, need to have a really good team, but number two, you have to have some things go your way and have things clicking on all cylinders. I’m proud of the way they played this year.”

To get to that point Bristol Eastern was challenged all season.

The Lancers had a tougher schedule than last year’s team and with the departure of five seniors - Jillian Maghini, Makenzie Jankowski (all-conference), Nicole D’Amato, Lexie Mastroianni and Mikayla Martin (all-conference) - Bristol Eastern’s youth was going to get its opportunity to shine this season.

Led by a strong sophomore class, the Lancers finished their season 15-5 overall and won games by a run margin of 117.

Bristol Eastern played 11 games against winning teams and went 7-4 in those games.

The losses came against Southington (6-0), South Windsor (4-0), Maloney (6-1) and Middletown twice (5-3, 12-5). The wins were against Windsor (4-1), Enfield (3-0), E.O. Smith (9-8), Berlin (9-0), Platt (22-0), South Windsor (2-1) and Glastonbury (10-3).

Against teams with a losing record, Bristol Eastern went 7-0 and allowed a total of three runs in those games.

Much of the success this season and last can be attributed to sophomore pitcher Erin Girard, who has led the Lancers to back-to-back postseason appearances.

“For me, personally, I feel like I did a lot better hitting my spots this year,” Girard said. “I mixed in some different pitches and had better command.”

Last season, Bristol Eastern was a more experienced team and it showed with an 18-3 record, including going 5-2 against winning teams in the regular season.

However, this group of young players - Girard, Taylor Keegan, Jenna Winters, Lyzah Corliss, Riley Giblin, Lauren Aparo and Alyssa Hackling - proved the Lancers are capable of competing against the best teams in Class LL and will continue to be a team to watch out for in coming years.

“I feel like next year we’re going to be an even better team,” Winters said. “Every year you can get better and we have gotten better as a team over the years. And we have a lot of good girls coming in and a lot of girls staying. We have a lot of potential to get better.”

Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or  dorencole@bristolpress.com



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol Eastern on Thursday, 31 May 2018 20:40. Updated: Thursday, 31 May 2018 20:43.