BERLIN - If youâ€™re a veteran on the Berlin softball team, chances are youâ€™ve played almost every position in the field.
For the last four years, the seniors, such as Michelle Cohen and Alexa Lanteri, have been rotating positions and gotten plenty of experience learning the different nuances of the game.
â€śWeâ€™ve all been doing a lot of very different things,â€ť Cohen said. â€śI started off playing in right field, then I pitched and now Iâ€™m catching. Being on this team you get to see a lot of different things.â€ť
Itâ€™s also an important trait the Redcoats need to have as players. Berlin has seven seniors leading some young talent, with just 15 girls on its roster.
â€śWe don't have a lot of numbers,â€ť Cohen said. â€śSo itâ€™s really important that everyone knows every position.â€ť
â€śItâ€™s been wild playing a ton of different positions,â€ť Lanteri added. â€śI think thereâ€™s a sense of pride. Freshman and sophomore year we were always fighting for positions and now weâ€™re where we are. We finally have our positions and itâ€™s nice to have confidence in ourselves, confidence in our whole team out there and knowing that we have gotten this far.â€ť
Thatâ€™s why the seniorsâ€™ leadership this season has been so important. With players like Stefanie Poulin, Jenna Zup, Kylie Lanteri and Casey Uryga - all freshmen - getting significant playing time, having veterans that can show them how things should be done and what is expected from each position is critical.
â€śWeâ€™re very young and very inexperienced,â€ť Berlin head coach Jason Pires said. â€śThere are certain people we rely on, our veterans, we really rely on. Our freshman are going to struggle at times, so we really rely on people like Alexa to kind of run that. Kind of show us the way.â€ť
For the seniors on the team, including Cohen and Lanteri, that means they want to finish the season strong.
â€śWe have been doing really well this year,â€ť Lanteri added. â€śI really want to make the conference and make a deep run in the state tournament.â€ť
In order to achieve their goals, there are some things that the team needs to improve upon.
â€śWe still need to work on our hitting, especially with the pitches we havenâ€™t seen,â€ť Cohen said. â€śThe corners, the edges, we were watching a lot of things go by on [Monday] and I think we need to do a better job of seeing it and identifying the pitch. We need to be able to hit it and go with it. Once weâ€™re able to do that, anything is possible.â€ť
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org