Although their season ended in a disappointing state championship loss, the Coginchaug Regional High School softball team is proud of their 2019 season and looking forward to future success.
“No one expected us to get this far and we really showed everyone what we're capable of … we did the best we could,” co-captain and senior Alex Grenier said after the final game.
This season, the team played in the Class S state championship game for the first time in seven years. Their last appearance was 2012, when the team won 6-0 against St. Bernard.
On Friday, June 7, the team went up against Somers and lost in a close one, 3-2. Coginchaug coach Steven DeMartino said it was a disappointing end to the season, but he is proud of the team for an overall solid season.
“The softball gods just weren’t with us that day,” DeMartino said of the championship game.
Coginchaug hadn’t played Somers before, but felt they were a pretty good match, just were unlucky even though they played hard, he said.
This was DeMartino’s first year as the high school team’s coach but he had the unique experience of already knowing most of the players from coaching them in junior and t-ball leagues. He said no one expected a team with a first-year coach and fairly young group of players to make it too far in the state tournament.
“It was a testament to the work they put in this year,” DeMartino said.
He said it was especially gratifying for him as a coach of 12 years to see the girls he had first taught to swing a bat and use a glove now performing at such a high level.
Along with the new coach, came a new team philosophy. DeMartino said his coaching style is focused on positive motivation and mental preparation. He said the players worked hard, but they tried to incorporate fun into everything and he reminded the players that softball is supposed to be fun.
“Even if you make a mistake or you didn't play your best, he was still positive about it,” Grenier said.
Co-captain Caroline Fournier said that positivity made it easier to win and seeped into the bonds and memories the players made together.
“There was a bond between all of us that we were really like a family,” Fournier said. “It was incredible, it was the best senior year I could have asked for.”
Both coach and players are confident in the talent returning to the team next year, including two starting pitchers who were only sophomores this year, Kelly Boothroyd and Amalia DeMartino.
The other two captains this year were Bailey Zettergren and Kate Cummings.
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