If there’s one sports program at Mashpee High School that appears to be on the rise, it would have to be softball.
This year the Lady Falcons’ varsity roster was made up predominantly of talented youngsters who showed a ton of promise in their first go-rounds at the varsity level. Coach Brian Brodie’s junior varsity squad will be sending more to join the party next year and beyond.
The JV Falcons had a great season, posting an 8-4 record for the spring. The squad’s four losses came to two top-tier teams, Carver and East Bridgewater. Against each squad the first loss was lopsided, while in each instance the second game was much closer; a three-run defeat to Carver and a single-run defeat at the hands of EBHS, which had a perfect season.
Brodie’s team scored runs in bunches, averaging about 20 per contest. Over the course of the season, the Lady Falcons began to understand the defensive and pitching sides of the game much better and became a well-rounded team.
“Once our pitching settled in, our defense settled,” Brodie said. “They played well and got better as the season went along.”
The junior varsity squad included sophomores Anna Roderick, Maddie Clifford and Sarah Thompson.
Roderick, one of the team’s primary pitchers, was very dependable on the mound. She also handled both middle infield spots.
“She was a huge key to our turnaround. Once she started throwing strikes and shutting people down, everything fell into place,” Brodie said.
Clifford’s spirit was a big reason why she earned the team’s Falcon Award.
“She’s the ultimate teammate. She showed great sportsmanship and was a pleasure to coach,” Brodie said of the outfielder.
Thompson had a nice season for the Falcons, playing first base, second base and left field. She picked up her hitting over the second half of the campaign.
Two freshmen, Chayna Hendricks and Cailin Kaski, played for the JV squad.
Hendricks played great at first base and was a left-handed pitcher. She also brought great power to the lineup, stroking three homers.
“She’s got a great, hard swing, and she had the highest average on the team, great speed, she’s competitive and was a spark in the field,” Brodie said.
Kaski saw time at first and in the outfield. She got better with the bat over the course of the year and played a big role in a late-season victory. With the team running low on pitching, she volunteered to head to the mound, despite not having pitched since an injury early in the season. She came in and pitched very well, picking up the win.
Eighth graders rounded out the rest of the squad.
Abbie Brousseau patrolled the outfield and had a very nice season on defense.
Second baseman Kelcie Ferguson worked hard to become one of the Falcons’ top defenders and showed progress offensively over the course of the season.
Hannah Fitzpatrick, who played in the outfield, was the team’s best bunter. In a big win against Monomoy she placed a perfect squeeze bunt up the third base line to plate the go-ahead run. She also reached first on the play when the pitcher overthrew first base, airmailing the ball into right field. That opened the door for a huge rally and a comfortable victory.
Rachael McEnroe saw time behind the dish, at third and in the outfield. She provided power at the plate, knocking a couple of homers over the wall, including one memorable shot.
“She hit the hardest ball I’ve ever seen at this level. It was like a major league hit, the way it came off the bat. People on the varsity field all turned their heads to watch it, it had to go 230 feet,” Brodie said.
Grace Shinn played third base and did everything pretty well for the Falcons. Brodie said she was one of the team’s most complete all-around players.
Emma Wise played shortstop and catcher, excelling behind the dish. She also played with a lot of fire and gave the team a spark.
Rachael Woodward rounded out this year’s team. Woodward played primarily at shortstop and was the type of player who would literally run through a wall for the team.
During the preseason, Brodie recalled, the team was running sprints in the gym, and Woodward refused to lose. On one occasion she ran through one of the gym doors leading to the cafeteria.
“I’m looking around for Rachael, and there she is in the cafeteria. That’s the kind of player she is, she’s always got one of the dirtiest uniforms. She loves the game,” Brodie said.