ADSL Softball season offered fun summer outlet for Dot girls

Players, mentors and coaches in the ADSL Girls Softball Minor division include (front row, l-r): Mila Yandle ,Meghan Coppney, Mia Myers, Molly Dolan, Lola Yandle, Devlin O’Regan, Juia Keene; (second row) Grace Plunkett, Lilianna Dahlbeck, Brianna Thach, Isabelle Robbins , Amara Ings, Lila Flaherty, Bridget McCarthy. Mentors (in purple): Avery Dillon, Ava O’Brien, Lauren Dillon. Back row:  Coaches: Chris Plunkett, Kevin Monahan, Christina Myers.

It was a late start to the season this year for ADSL girl’s softball, but once we got the go-ahead, we were able to field Minors, Majors, and Senior divisions that had several highlights.

In the Minors, Chris Plunkett and Christina Myers provided an immediate impact as first-year coaches. They started with some basic drills to shake off the rust and worked the girls up to “game ready.” Several parents commented on the improvement of the players’ skills from the beginning to the end of the season.

Coach Plunkett’s highlights were watching his DareDevils players Liliana Dahlbeck giving solid play at first base and Brianna Thach hitting her first home run. Coach Myers watched her Saints players Molly Dolan and Mia Myers develop their defensive skills while Bridget McCarthy led the way with her hitting.

My own Friars team had a mix of rookies and seasoned players. Clare McCarthy continued to tear up the bases with lightning speed and aggressive base running. Amara Ings and Lila Flaherty proved more than ready to take it to the next level. Rookie Julia Keene’s natural athletic skills showed she is someone to watch out for next year.

Grace Plunkett and Lila Flaherty peaked enough to be called up to the Majors division late in the season. They showed their worth as both went 2 for 3 at the plate and exhibited solid defensive skills. My biggest thrill was watching their confidence and comradery building up through the season.

In the Majors bracket, Crusaders coach Kevin George had a strong mix of veterans and rookies. The Crusaders have moved up from “cellar dwellers” into the team to beat with Kelly McKenna, Christina George, Sarah Lynch, and Rory Shields leading the way with their bats. The Mullin and Porter sisters are fast on the bases and Izzy Mcquaid is solid behind the plate. Caitlin Sweeney and Christina George led the charge on mound while rookies Zoe Baxter and Maggie Januliwitz are stars of the future.

A merged Blue Jay / Cardinals team is the biggest threat to the Crusaders and the coaching trio of Jason Willet and Matt and Noreen Kelley can boast of a deep bench. Coaches are silent on this, but the truth is daughters Addie Willet, Audrey, and Nina Kelly are all-stars. Sluggers Katie King and Colleen Sansone complement the hard hitting of Lilah Curley and Addie Willet. Audrey Kelley has the bat and exceptional defensive skills.

The Falcons team headed up by Joe Kyne and PJ Trapani has a young group transitioning from last year’s Minors Championship team to a an up-and-coming line-up for next year. Ava and Lila Kyne showed improvement as Emma Sorensen and Alannah Tankle are team leaders.

The Orioles had another fun season, as we welcomed six rookies to the team along with our seasoned veterans. Among the youngest players, Lyla Mendoza mastered right field and Sabine Beliveau showed early promise with great contact at the plate. Many returning players took on new positions, with Adriana Taglieri becoming a formidable pitcher, Ruby Gold holding it down at first, and Elise Walker stepping up to become a solid catcher as the season progressed.

Nia Buyu anchored the team with strong defense at shortstop and Aaliyah Johnson’s hitting just keeps getting stronger. Many thanks to all the Orioles and their families for bringing positive energy and love for the sport!

In the Senior division, Dan Clark’s perennial championship Hawk team has been matched by a talented Eagles team coached by Mike Haggerty and Mat & Noreen Kelley. Hawk’s star hurlers Brenna Emma, Lauren and Avery Dillon have been matched by Amanda Astrofski and Monica Kelley. Hawks defensive specialist Sarah Clark and Ava O’Brien are matched with Eagles Emme Finnegan and Madelyn Murphy. Hawks long ball hitters Kaelin Clark and Sydney Hanlon have been matched by Eagles Keira Flynn, Ava Duffy, Cori Miller, and Carol Casado. Deep center is no longer a safe zone for spectators.

The Ravens were a young squad this year that put together some excellent hitting and fielding as they came together as a team. Unique Washington was a standout for her improved hitting and fielding, with fellow Seniors rookies Ananda Scott bringing a big bat to the lineup, Clare Ablett providing a reliable glove and hustle, and Phoebe Le-Ngo showing speed in the outfield and on the base paths.

Pitching duties were split among four Ravens: Cielo Diaz, Amanda Hughes, Tyler Borges, and Lola Roberts, all of whom could be counted on to throw strikes and play great defense, and Meredith Bultmeyer was key both on and off the field as a veteran catcher and all-around leader.  This team will be back and better than ever in Spring 2021!

Come out to watch the action this week at Toohig Park as we wrap up the playoffs. Big thanks to ADSL for housing some safe fun for the summer.

Kevin Monahan is the Commissioner of ADSL Girls Softball.