Trumbull softball strong in all aspects of the game
With a bunch of talent returning from last year and the ability for numerous athletes to play numerous positions on the diamond, the Trumbull High School softball team has some pretty high hopes for this season.
“They are all retuning varsity letter winners from last year,” Trumbull High School head coach Cary Nadel said. “It’s a relatively varsity team, but they all have the varsity experience. Our goals are to host at least one FCIAC playoff games and at least two class LL state playoff games. I think it’s very realistic that we can accomplish that.”
Last year, Trumbull softball advanced to both the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference and the CIAC class LL postseasons. However, the Eagles didn’t last too long, losing in the opening rounds in both playoffs and finishing the season with a 13-9 mark.
With a plethora of talent returning from last year’s successful season, Nadel and the rest of the Eagles have high some lofty goals.
Helping lead the way this season will be the four senior captains comprised of Emily Clark, Harleigh Kaczegowicz, Jayme Thompson and Nicole Palmer and Nadel expects all four captains to lead by example, both on and off the field.
Trumbull’s Second Team All-FCIAC battery of junior Samantha Platz, a pitcher, and catcher Kaczegowicz will be back again this season.
In addition to Platz on the mound, Trumbull will also throw out junior Marisa Valenti and sophomores Taylor Brown and Ally Szabo.
“I need them to keep hitting their spots,” Nadel said. “We have different types of pitchers and there will be times were I mix up who is in the circle to keep the opposition off balance. Sam has very good speed and very good control. She doesn’t get rattled. After a walk, double or triples she keeps her composure in the circle and that is crucial for a pitcher in softball.”
When it comes to the outfield, Trumbull is stacked with talent, as seven girls can field the positions without the team missing a step. This year’s starting outfield will be led by captain Thompson, while junior Lauren Zielinski and sophomore Leah Thompson will start as well.
“They all have good speed and could get to the ball,” Nadel said. “All back each other up and know what to do with the ball when they get it. It’s a very strong outfield and one of the strongest in the FCIAC.”
Switching over from third base to first this season is Clark, but it’s not going to be a stretch to see her back at third base every now and then this season. When she’s not on the mound throwing strikes, junior Marisa Valenti will be on the opposite side of the diamond at third base.
The middle infield will have captain Palmer, juniors Sarah Angelo and Kristen Dutertre and sophomore Taylor Brown, as they all will see a bunch of innings at either short or second base.
“Harleigh is our best overall athlete and could probably play any position but pitch,” Nadel said. “It’s great that she is so versatile. However she’s not the only one. Every one on the team could play multiple positions on the field. If there is an injury, we could slot someone in that position without fear of giving up depth.”
Nadel said that the biggest strength for the Eagles this year is its strength and chemistry.
“The girls all get along really well together, which is key,” Nadel said. “That’s going to be the key to our success. At the end of the season, I went them more aggressive at the plate. I think if we do everything we can make the FCIAC finals and at least the third or fourth round of States.”
One of the biggest advantages for Trumbull this season is that the girls on the squad all play travel softball.
“In softball, if you want to have a successful program, it’s critical to have as many travel games as possible,” Nadel said. “To be successful, you need to play in the summer, play in the fall and participate in winter workouts with the travel team. All girls that want to play softball in college need to have travel softball under their belts.
With the amount of talent returning, the team’s dedication to the sport and the strong chemistry in the program, Nadel said that this year’s team is a coach’s dream.
“To have as much talent in the sport as we have at Trumbull softball is amazing,” Nadel said. “I had a pretty good idea of what Trumbull softball would be like after watching my two oldest daughters play travel softball in Ridgefield and coaching travel ball in tournaments and in the summer, but working with them the joy is we get to work on finer technique and strategies rather than this is how you hold the ball.”