Softball: Trumbull Eagles have unfinished business
Goals for Trumbull High are to compete for FCIAC and state championships each year.
Given how last season concluded – with losses in both pinnacle battles – the Eagles are motivated to come out on top.
“It left a bad taste,” coach Jacqui Sheftz said. “To lose those games, it’s really unfinished business. You lose a conference championship and a state championship, you come in and you’re hungry. The drive is there.”
And so, too, is the talent.
The Eagles lost a trio of players — Courtney Fairfield, Delilha Destefano and Meghan Geraghty — and they will leave some significant holes.
The most glaring vacancies in preseason were at first and second base, with up-and-coming players vying for playing time on the right side of the infield. On the whole, a wealth of talent and experience is back in play.
The outfield comprises the team’s only seniors: Maggie Coffin, Alexa Adinolfi and Ava Dunn.
Pitcher Emily Gell, pitcher/third baseman Mackenzie Bruggeman, shortstop Julia Huzi, catcher Cassi Barbato and courtesy runner Charlotte Erenberg are experienced players.
“We’re returning a very talented nucleus. We’re really going to rely on the veterans to step up, especially at the beginning,” said Sheftz, alluding to the transition of younger players entering the starting lineup.
Having the pitcher-catcher battery back in place is a definite plus for any team.
“Anytime a team returns a pitcher and a catcher (Gell and Barbato) you’ve got to like your chances. It’s a great thing to build around,” Sheftz said.
Tough competition stands to come from the likes of defending FCIAC champ St. Joseph, along with Fairfield Warde, Stamford and others.
“In the FCIAC you can’t look past any opponent. It’s the one game at a time approach. It’s a long season and yet it’s a short season. You play three games in a week,” Sheftz pointed out.
In three seasons with the Eagles, this coaching staff has been to two state championships, with a title win two years ago.
“My expectations are ridiculously high for this group, but they are every year,” Sheftz said. “Our expectations, year in and year out, are to win an FCIAC championship and win a state championship.”
The coach likes not only the talent level, but also the attitudes of her players.
“They’re a great group of kids to be around. They’re good people,” Sheftz said.
First pitch of the regular season is set for Saturday when the Eagles visit Westhill of Stamford at noon.
The home opener is scheduled for Monday when Stamford visits at 4:15.