Softball earns spot in postseason
With the majority of its players returning from the 2014 tournament team, Wilbraham & Monson Academy Softball had everything in place to make another run at the league title in 2015.
Injuries to three starters early in the season, though, posed an unexpected challenge.
The Titans, however, were strong enough to overcome that challenge as the team qualified for the Western New England Prep School Girls' Softball Association Class B Tournament for the second year in row. Fourth-seeded WMA (10-5) will hit the road to take on top-ranked Ethel Walker May 16 at 2 p.m. in a semifinal.
"This was a more challenging year to make the playoffs," Coach Erik Kindblom said. "We've shown resiliency and the ability to handle difficult situations."
"I think we had a really good idea coming into the season that we were going to be competitive, but we started off with a lot of injuries," said pitcher Carly Venditti '16. "But we've really pulled together and we're headed to our peek right now and we're really going to bring it to Ethel Walker on Saturday."
The Academy started the season 3-5 overall and 2-4 in the league. The Titans, though, closed out the season on a seven-game winning streak, including five wins in the league, to clinch the fourth and final spot of the tournament.
"We started to get healthy again," Coach Kindblom explained. "It's been a team effort – not one or two defining players. We've had young players (Emelia Boyko '18 and Chloe Roux '19) step up to fill in for veteran players who became injured, and them playing to a level that exceeded my expectations."
WMA qualified for the postseason with a 7-2 win at Cheshire Academy Wednesday.
"We put a lot of pressure on them, and we were able to put pressure on them for seven innings and come out on top, and that last win got us into the playoffs," Coach Kindblom said.
The Academy beat Marianapolis Prep in a semifinal a year ago before falling to the Kingswood-Oxford School in the final.