GM girls softball preview: ‘…enjoy the game while taking it seriously’

By Evan Chadwick
© 2022 Telegraph Publishing

On the heels of a 10-6 2021 season and a trip to the quarterfinals, the Green Mountain Softball team enters the 2022 campaign with a solid core of players returning, along with several newcomers who will be called upon to fill the significant holes left by the class of 2021.

Senior Elizabeth Cavoto fields a popup. Photos by Evan Chadwick

Seven athletes from last year’s season are back, including seniors Kim Cummings and Elizabeth Cavoto, who are looking to finish the business left undone.

“I have played all four years,” said Cavoto. “I am hoping for a championship this year.”

If GM is going to push into finals contention it will largely be based on the Chieftains ability to generate production from sources that have yet to be defined, as Coach Matthew Wilson has continued to refine his starting lineup based on a series of indoor practices that have limited what his players can do. It’s a tough job for sure, but Coach Wilson continues the labor as he begins his third year as the Green Mountain varsity skipper and his ninth year overall coaching softball.

“Everyone makes the team,” said Coach Wilson, whose numbers have precluded the hopes of a junior varsity season. “I tell the girls what we are trying out for is who will be starting at each position.”

On Monday, March 28th practice, with temperatures hovering near 15 degrees and a howling wind blowing outside, the sustained tryout was held indoors, as the girls broke up into groups that focused on fielding and reps in the batting cage.

Coach Wilson talks with his players

“I am hoping we have a fun season,” said Cummings, who was named a co-captain along with sophomore Brie Howe-Lynch. “I want to set an example to the underclassmen how to enjoy the game while also taking it seriously.”

Few looked more serious during practice then GM pitcher, Howe-Lynch, who was firing balls into her teammates glove with an impactful velocity that Coach Wilson hopes will translate into a successful season.

If the Chieftains are to compete with teams such as White River Valley, who have been pegged by many coaches to be a favorite in Division 3 this year, it will be based on finding ways to generate production from the bottom of the lineup, which will be filled with inexperienced players.

“We are going to be a little unorthodox with our offense,” said Wilson, who expects freshmen like Brielle Heybyrne and Chloe Gregory to pick up some of the slack, while also counting on the speed at the top of the lineup to pressure opposing defenses.

GM has three scrimmages scheduled for the next week, the first being Monday, April 4, when they travel to Mount Anthony followed by April 8 and April 11 road trips to Burr and Burton and Brattleboro.

The first regular season game is set for April 15, when the girls travel to Poultney with a contest with the Blue Devils.

 

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Filed Under: Education NewsSoftballSports News

About the Author: Originally from Rochester, Vermont, Evan Chadwick is a practicing attorney who lives in Brattleboro with his family. He is a 2007 graduate of Keene State College and currently coaches the boys' varsity basketball team at Bellows Falls Union High School.

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