By MICHAEL LETENDRE
PLAINVILLE – For the first time since 2010, the Plainville softball team were state tournament participants and while the season ended with a first round loss to East Haven, the Blue Devils are certainly headed in the right direction.
In 2010, the squad went 10-11 overall and fast forward to this past season, Plainville was just one victory off that mark.
But in terms of 2012 and 2013, the improvement was easily night and day.
As a team this past spring, Planville batted a nifty .353 which was a significant improvement from last season’s .287 team average.
In fact, two batters hit for averages of over .400 and that came off the bats of senior Katy Dressel (.438) and sophomore Rachel Lancaster (.432).
The pair also led the team in hits with 32 apiece.
Senior Cheyenne Dalke only batted .370, which was good for third on the team.
In all, seven batters hit for an average of .333 or better.
Last season, only two batters accomplished that feat with Alexis Ruscito batting better than .340 over the past two campaigns.
This year, Ruscito batted .342 with 13 hits while Shayla Beausoleil averaged .380 with 19 hits and seven RBI.
Danielle Angelillo batted .333 with 25 hits and eight RBI while newcomer Sarah Ercoli tallied a .309 average with 21 hits and 18 runs scored.
In the fielding department, the Blue Devils were also significantly improved as the defense was sharper by the game in 2013.
Plainville committed 40 errors in 2012 and cut that number by 16 this year.
And that came about as the Blue Devils had to pull one of its best infielders – Lancaster – and put her on the mound where she performed incredibly well but her sure hand was not at her normal shortstop position.
Lancaster threw nearly 97 innings and had an ERA of just under 6.60 and that’s pretty good considering where she started the season.
She led the team with 37 strikeouts as Plainville nabbed 55 overall.
Nicole Basile, another promising sophomore, also pitched well off the mound and in 16.3 innings pitched, she carried around a 6.00 ERA.
She also batted .343 with 23 hits and 12 RBI.
Even with that pitching shake-up, and a critical injury to Ruscito, Plainville managed to wins games early and late to qualify for the state tournament.
The Blue Devils started off the season with a 30-0 thumping of Bloomfield, leading to a 5-0 ledger after five games.
Off the 5-0 start, head coach Jen Micowski warned her squad that the road would get tougher and it certainly did.
In a battle of the two unbeaten squads on Thursday, April 18, Maloney defeated Plainville 10-4 and that started a five game losing streak by the Blue Devils.
On May 2, the Blue Devils knocked off Hartford Public 21-0 and picked off Bulkeley 22-3 four days later to move to 7-6 on the campaign, one game away from playoff qualification.
After losses to Middletown (6-2) and Maloney (15-0), Plainville picked up one of its biggest victories since joining the CCC South.
On Monday, May 13 – the same day the Plainville baseball team qualified for the state tournament – the softball squad took on Bristol Eastern from Alumni Field.
It was a banner night for the Blue Devils as Plainville picked up state tournament victory number eight in a 3-2 win over Eastern while on Thursday, May 16, Platt fell to the squad 5-4.
At that point, Plainville was 9-8 but dropped its final four games, including two contests by two runs, as the Blue Devils ended the season in the first round of the Class M tournament by a 9-1 final.
2013 Plainville high school softball
Date Opponent Score W/L Record
April 3 at Bloomfield 30-0 W 1-0
April 6 vs. North Branford 13-12 W 2-0
April 8 vs. Farmington 5-0 W 3-0
April 10 vs. Bulkeley 18-0 W 4-0
April 15 at Manchester 11-9 W 5-0
April 18 vs. Maloney 4-10 L 5-1
April 22 at Middletown 3-9 L 5-2
April 24 at Bristol Eastern 0-5 L 5-3
April 26 vs. Platt 4-5 L 5-4
April 29 vs. Bristol Central 0-7 L 5-5
May 2 vs. Hartford Public 21-0 W 6-5
May 3 at Berlin 8-13 L 6-6
May 6 at Bulkeley 22-3 W 7-6
May 9 vs. Middletown 2-6 L 7-7
May 10 at Maloney 0-15 L 7-8
May 13 vs. Bristol Eastern 3-2 W 8-8
May 16 at Platt 5-4 W 9-8
May 17 vs. Bristol Central 2-17 L 9-9
May 21 vs. St. Paul 5-7 L 9-10
May 22 vs. Berlin 4-6 L 9-11
May 28 at East Haven 1-9 L 9-12
SCHOOL DIVISION RECORD OVERALL RECORD
Bristol Central 12-2 (co-champions) 21-3 (lost 9-2 to Mercy in semifi nals of LL)
Maloney 12-2 (co-champions) 20-3 (lost 5-4 to Foran in Class L semis)
Berlin 11-3 20-4 (lost 2-1 to Masuk in Class L semis)
Bristol Eastern 6-8 9-12 (lost 3-0 in Class L 1st round to Foran)
Platt 6-8 7-11 (did not qualify for the playoffs)
Middletown 5-9 9-12 (lost 6-0 to Darien Class LL 1st round)
Plainville 4-10 9-12 (lost 9-1 in Class M 1st round to East Haven)
Bulkeley 0-14 1-18 (did not qualify for the playoffs)