With the postseason just around the corner, athletes all over the field, course or court continue to turn in some outstanding performances in an effort to help their respective teams make a late-season push.
Over the past week Berlin’s Stefanie Poulin and New Britain’s Johnny Morell did their part to help their teams come out with wins.
Poulin pitched a complete game and struck out seven as the Redcoats secured their eighth win of the season last Monday, sealing their spot in the postseason in the process.
“It’s always our first goal to get to the state tournament,” Redcoats head coach Jason Pires said. “We really didn’t hit as well as we have been, but we played probably our best defensive game of the year and my pitcher did well. We talked about the three phases of the game: pitching, defense and hitting, and when one’s not working the other two have to make up for it and I thought we did that.”
A big reason for Berlin’s 8-3 record has been Poulin’s performance from the pitching circle. Along with those seven strikeouts, the freshman didn’t issue a walk and gave up just three hits.
Tuesday night the Redcoats shutdown Malone as they beat them 10-3. Poulin struck out 10 with no walks. Throughout the week, Poulin had 15 strikeouts, one walk, and 19 hits amongst three games.
“Stefanie pitched well,” Pires said. “She throws three to four pitches all of them very well. She’s young so I think she’ll get stronger with age, but right now, she hits her spot and she doesn’t walk many people. That is a big, big part of this and we talk a lot about that. Really she has done everything we’ve asked.
Poulin has been dreaming about playing on Berlin’s varsity team since she was 5 years old. But for the young pitcher, the team success has been even more important.
“I think we work really well together as a team,” Poulin said. “We bond together really good and we talk a lot. We really help each other out at the end of the day.”
It was quite the week for the New Britain boys golf team. The Hurricanes went 3-1, beating Bristol Eastern twice and Bloomfield with Morell leading the way.
“We have a young team this year, so I’m pretty pleased with how Johnny played,” New Britain head coach Bob Zadrozny said.
The sophomore turned in a number of quality outings. In Hurricanes’ first match against the Lancers, Morell was the team’s low scorer, shooting a 50. He then followed it up winning back-to-back medalists, shooting a 46 against Bristol Eastern on Thursday and a 44 against Bloomfield on Friday.
“My drives we’re pretty good, my short game was pretty good too and my putting was really good,” Morell said. “I didn’t really make that many mistakes. Usually I average high 40s, low 50s maybe.”
Although Morell did well on Thursday there are still things his team needs to improve on.
“This season has been pretty good but we can definitely do better,” Morell said. “But we’re decent. As a team we need to focus on staying relaxed and not getting in our own head. When we start doing bad, we just keeping doing worse and worse. Golf is a mental sport and you have to try to work through it or else you’re going to do really bad.”
Thus far, New Britain is 4-7 on the season and to finish the regular season on a strong note, will need Morell to continue to play well. After all, he certainly appears up for the task.
“He’s a real competitor and team player,” New Britain head coach Bob Zadrozny said. “He is the most athletics player on the team and he has a good future in golf if he works at it.”