NEW BRITAIN - Itâs hard not to get emotional when talking about Gabriella Roy, New Britain softball coach Joel Simmone said.
Just when things were picking up for New Britain and Roy - who had just broken one school career record and was closing in on several others - Friday afternoon before its game against Plainville, Roy injured her knee.
âWe might have lost Gabby for the year,â Simmone said. âBefore the game began she twisted it. We were running balls, warming up on the turf and she heard a pop. Plainvilleâs trainer came over, she got an X-ray and it was negative, but we wonât know for certain until she gets an MRI.â
Without Roy in the lineup, the Hurricanes had to reconfigure their entire defense, not to mention she was New Britainâs No. 3 batter.
âIt was a scary first two innings, we were losing 2-0,â Simmone said. âBut I am so impressed with Plainville. They go up there, they swing the bat, the coach is great and theyâre going to be a hell of a team in the near future.â
Although Roy wasnât able to play on Friday, the Hurricanes still managed to walk away with a 14-3 victory.
âThe girls were scared, I had to change everything,â Simmone said. âBut I told them, âListen weâve been tested over and over, every day throughout this season. We lost Gabby last year and we just need to keep going, I would love nothing more to win this game for her.ââ
And they did exactly that.
The Hurricanesâ softball team had previously hit a slump. After opening its season 5-1, New Britain had lost five consecutive games. The team needed a kick start and Roy did just that.
On Thursday, during the Hurricanesâ game against Capital Prep, Roy broke the New Britain High School record for most career hits, which was previously broken last year by Paola Bronner.
In the midst of the game, everyone stopped to applaud Roy after her 103rd hit.
âIt was a great game and we were in a slump,â Roy said. âI was nervous going into the game because I knew I was close.â
Roy is also closing in on most doubles, with 17, and the all-time leading batting average, which is .400 - Roy is at .450.
She is currently up to 200 base appearances and 13 runs away from hitting 100. Roy is also 10 RBI away from breaking the most career RBI record.
Roy has been an athlete for as long as she can remember. Throughout the school year she is a three sport athlete, playing soccer, basketball and softball. She is number one in her class and will be attending the University of Connecticut in the fall.
âIt has been a great career,â Roy said. âI have had several wonderful opportunities and I have had amazing coaches along the way.â
Roy puts as much work into the classroom as she does with athletics. This year she received the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) Scholar-Athlete Award.
âShe is an amazing young woman,â Simmone said. âWhat is most incredible is that she missed eight games last year because of an injury. If she didnât miss those eight games all the records without a doubt would have been broken already.â
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860)801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org