SOUTHINGTON - Next season Abby Lamson will be wrapping up her senior year with the Southington softball team. While there will still be a number of games left to play for the Blue Knights, the junior catcher already knows where her softball career will take her next.
Lamson already committed to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, a Division I, Atlantic-10 Conference school. There, she will be following in the footsteps of Southington head coach Davina Hernandez.
“Davina definitely helped me out,” Lamson said. “She talked to the coach for me because they used to play together when they went there. It was a good door opener for me. I instantly fell in love with the school.”
Hernandez was a key piece for UMass softball program and saw plenty of success during her time with the Minutemen. When she was there, the team was ranked top 25 all four years. Hernandez played in one NCAA Sweet 16 and went to four NCAA regional championships and won one of them.
When not playing with the Blue Knights, Lamson plays with one of the nation’s top elite travel softball programs, the Rhode Island Thunderbolts, which she has been a part of for the last several years.
“She has gotten a lot of exposure and has traveled all over,” Hernandez said. “She has been seen by several coaches and last summer was a big summer for her. She ended up getting lots of different opportunities to go on visits and talk with coaches. She just happened to visit UMass and really liked it.”
UMass coach, Kristi Stefanoni, had actually seen Lamson play a couple times, specifically a game in Orlando, Fl. and Stefanoni liked what she saw.
“[Lamson] had me put in a good word for her,” Hernandez said. “All around she just loved the feel for the school just like I did and I know she’s excited to play there. She belongs playing at a high level and that is why I was confident in speaking on her behalf to the UMass coach because I know she can play at that next level.”
Lamson has been a spark plug for the Blue Knights since early in her sophomore year. She brings a lot of energy to the team and having her in the beginning of Southington’s lineup has been crucial.
“If you pay close attention, she’s one of those kids that in all of those really big games she stepped it up,” Hernandez said. “I think that says a lot about her as a player. She’s the type of kid you want in those situations. She’s been a leader and a lot of girls look up to her because she’s not afraid to be loud and to be a voice out there.”
Lamson began playing baseball when she was younger and from those experiences, found her love of softball.
“A lot of my friends in fifth grade played for the local travel team, Southington Lightning,” Lamson said. “I was always talking with my friends about it so one day I went and tried out and I made it and I went from there.”
In Lamson’s junior campaign, she had 30 hits, 20 runs, 32 RBI and a batting average of .476. The catcher also recorded six stolen bases on the year.
“I just love the feeling when the ball comes off the bat and you just know you hit it as hard as you could,” Lamson said. “That is my favorite part about softball.”
With just one season left, Hernandez is looking forward to seeing more growth out of Lamson.
“I’ve seen her grow a lot mentally and physically as an athlete and in the greatest athletes, you see that continuous growth,” Hernandez said. “She has been rock solid from a young age and I know that our program definitely proves that it’s not about whether you’re a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, it’s about being the best and if you’re the best, you’re going to be out there. She has worked really hard to prove that she’s going to be one of the bests and that she deserves to be out there.”
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org