WALLINGFORD — Bottom of the third, one out, and Lyman Hall sophomore center fielder Callie Chordas stole second base Friday against Sacred Heart Academy.
It’s nothing out of the ordinary in a softball game. For the Trojans, it was one steal closer to reaching one team goal for the season.
Before the 2021 campaign began, head coach Stephanie Lavado-Berghorn, well aware of the speed Lyman Hall possessed, said she wanted her team to steal 100 bases for the year.
Halfway through the regular season and the Trojans (6-3) are up to 36 steals — an average of four per game.
While it’s not as many as Lavado-Berghorn expected at this point in the season, the team is on pace to surpass the 69 total from the 2019 season.
“I think that, across the board, our entire team is much faster than this last team that we had,” Lavado-Berghorn said heading into 2021. “So I’m hoping that we can steal a couple more.”
In addition to this team being “faster,” the 2019 squad also played 20 regular season games and two playoff games. So, if the 2021 crew plays the same amount, it would be on pace for 88 steals.
Whether the century mark is reached or not, the Trojans’ ability to speed around the base paths gives them an advantage in games. Aggressive baserunning is fueling an offense that’s averaging better than seven runs a contest.
“We have a really fast team this year and we’ve been telling them that we’re going to try to take advantage of that,” Lavado-Berghorn said after the team’s season-opening 9-7 win over Sheehan on April 10. “As long as we can get on the bases, our plan is to cause chaos.”
In the team’s most recent game, an 11-6 win over Sacred Heart Academy on Friday, the Trojans accumulated six steals, three of which were by Chordas. She now has seven steals on the year.
Sophomore left fielder Alana Peruti is the team leader with 10. Combined, the two sophomores account for 17 of Lyman Hall’s 36 steals.
That said, the team's speed goes much further than just Chordas and Peruti. It’s part of a consistent game plan that each player practices and performs.
Lyman Hall’s next game is on Monday at Foran. The challenge there, aside from the Lions, is Foran’s turf field, which requires different running and sliding techniques.
“I’m confident in our running,” Lavado-Berghorn said.
“We’re going to have to practice sliding on the turf because that’s different. You’re going to go a lot further, a lot faster. So, we’ve got to learn our range so that we know where to start sliding.”
After Monday, the Trojans will have just eight games remaining in the regular season. If they’re going to reach their goal of 100 steals, they’ll have to continue Friday's trend and limit the amount of outs while baserunning.
“We have also gotten ourselves into some outs while running the bases ... not having proper slides or not executing a hit-and-run situation where we were going to get the steal, and then we struggled getting the bunt down,” Lavado-Berghorn said. “So a couple times like that we took the bases away from ourselves.”
Polishing these mistakes and continuing to execute the game plan will continue to be Lavado-Berghorn’s blueprint as the Trojans sprint into the second half of the season.