The Sandwich Lady Knight junior varsity softball team carried a roster of 13 players, including nine freshmen, and put together a 7-9 record in the highly competitive Atlantic Coast League.
The Lady Knights were led by junior captains Emily Christensen and Katelyn Govoni and sophomore captain Caitlyn Murphy.
“Katelyn Govoni was a wonderful role model for the team on the field and in the classroom,” coach Marty Russo said. “Recognizing the need to cover a variety of positions due to injury, she selflessly played third base, second base, shortstop and in the outfield and played them all well. Emily Christensen brought a great attitude and leadership skills to the team. She played at first base and played hurt. Her determination inspired the rest of the team. Caitlyn Murphy was always thinking about the game. She had just a wonderful attitude and always gave 100 percent. She became a captain midway through the season because of her attitude and leadership skills. Caitlyn got a chance to pitch a couple of games for the varsity team, and she picked up her first varsity win against Nauset. I am extremely proud of how she conducted herself and helped lead our team. I think her future in the game is very bright.”
Sophomore second baseman Maddy French took home the team's ACL Sportsmanship Award.
“Frenchy was just a great teammate,” Russo said. “She is not only a very good player, but was always smiling and encouraging her teammates. The Sportsmanship Award is the one that I value most. It represents what we want all of our players to emulate.”
Russo continued, “This was a season of instruction and looking for improvement from our freshmen. We were teaching not just basic knowledge of the game, but sportsmanship and how to win and lose as a team. All of our freshmen showed marked improvement. We did have a number of injuries and had to move the kids around to different positions, taking them out of their comfort zone, and they responded well.”
Freshman Riley Casili was one of three Lady Knights who managed to get a hit for SHS when it faced a very strong squad in Marshfield.
“Marshfield had a varsity level pitcher on their JV team,” Russo said, “and Riley was one of the few that got a hit. She is one of the nicest players I have ever coached and one of the best teammates.”
Ariana Breen played several different positions for the Lady Knights.
“Ariana played second base, third base and in the outfield for us,” the coach said. “She was a good teammate, brought a great attitude to the team and was very coachable.”
Caroline Clabault brought athleticism to the team.
“Caroline really improved a lot over the course of the season,” the coach said. “She played mostly outfield or first base. I really liked the energy and positive attitude she brought to the team and the game.”
Marissa Keene worked the outfield for the Lady Knights this spring.
“Marissa did play mostly in the outfield,” Russo said, “and she improved a lot in her hitting and fielding over the course of the season.”
Allie Lerch also had a strong season for Sandwich.
“Allie was our most improved all-around player,” coach Russo said. “She was coachable and just a very pleasant person to have on the team. She made a game-saving, Dustin Pedroia-like catch of a laser of a line drive with two outs and the bases loaded in our win over Barnstable.”
Olivia Nordman was also in the outfield this spring for Sandwich.
“Olivia was very much improved by the end of the season in hitting and especially in her fielding,” the coach said.
Kaitlyn Spinella also saw improvement at the plate this season.
“Kaitlyn was our most improved in hitting,” the coach said. “She was a line drive hitter. She had one of our three hits in the game against Marshfield. She is the kind of player who studies and understands the game.”
Sarah Sutton volunteered to do some catching this spring when the team found themselves without someone behind the plate.
“I appreciated Sarah’s willingness to sacrifice for the team,” Russo said. “She was one of the players that moved up to varsity toward the end of the season.”
Russo described Liz Lorino as the ultimate team player.
“At the beginning of the season we had no catcher,” Russo said. “Liz volunteered and did the majority of the catching this year. She played hurt in a lot of games because she didn’t want to let the team down. Her wonderful sense of humor kept things loose. She had never caught before, but by the end of the season she was our catcher. Liz is the epitome of what it means to be a good teammate.”
The coach concluded, “My goal as a coach is to instruct and improve how they play the game. I asked them to play their hardest for themselves and their teammates and to have fun doing it. I think we accomplished our goals. I am extremely proud of all of them. They represent all that is good about Sandwich High School softball.”