Enfield-Windsor Locks softball all-stars make run to state finals

Enfield’s 10-11 softball All-Star team coach Jason Bradley had a pretty good idea heading into District 8 pool play. He decided to join forces with Windsor Locks. And it’s a good thing he did.

The two towns fielded a team that made a deep run in the state tournament after a district championship win, and lost in the finals to Westport.

And in a show of the same great sportsmanship that had shined bright all season long, Enfield-Windsor Locks lost with dignity and pride in a 16-0 decision back on July 30.

“They did not hang their heads when we lost,” Bradley said. “Those girls know what we accomplished, and they were happy and excited for how far we went and what we were able to do. They held their heads high. We got embarrassed in that game but those kids were proud of what we did. Winning the district was the great, getting to the finals was great, but it’s tough to lose and lose right, but we did, we lost right. We had sportsmanship and we knew we left it all out there.”

Prior to their season-ending loss, Enfield-Windsor Locks showed it could handle a bat, firing off a 15-5 win over Hamden, 21-6 win over Glastonbury and 10-0 win over Seymour.

The team also posted seven runs in its first loss to Westport in the semis.

“We ended up winning a couple games in the district there, and our team was probably peaking two or three games into the state tournament, against Wetsport and Glastonbury. We lost to Westport 14-7. Every team they played they mercied, and a couple bounces here would have been a different game. It was tons of fun I had a blast.”

Bradley knew the key to prevailing in States was to be able to hit good pitching. The impressive run output was due to hard work and repetition in practice.

“Hitting was something I learned from last year’s tournament,” Bradley said. “We hit at every single practice. The girls took 20 soft toss swings, 20 swings off the tee, we tried to do hitting every single practice because it was our biggest weakness last year. I brought in a high school pitcher to throw batting practice. I tried to make sure all the kids had a decent fundamental swing. I was very happy with how well they all came with their approach to the plate.”

Now with an impressive 2013 under its belt, Enfield-Windsor Locks has no intention of being a one-trick pony. The program and Bradley is hoping this is the start of a regularly competitive little league softball team, year in and year out.

“We kind of have a resurgence going with the league that had been on a downswing for the last couple years,” the coach said. “We’re trying to pick it back up.”

Photo courtesy of Melanie Oliviera, Photosfromthesidelines.com

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