Reminder Assistant Editor
AGAWAM For the past three years the girls of the 2008 Agawam Warriors 14 and under softball team have been working together to become the best team on the field.
The Agawam Warriors outshined their competition finishing their 2008 season earlier this month with an undefeated regular season and playoff record of 36-0. The team competed in the New England Youth Sports Association (NEYSA) and Suburban Leagues.
The team's stellar performance can be attributed to a combination of dominant pitching, outscoring their opponents by an average of 11.6 runs per game and an impressive batting record of no less than .314 for each athlete.
In an interview with Reminder Publications, Assistant Coach Andrew Fondakowski explained that a strong emphasis on defense carried the team to victory. The team played by the motto of "defense wins the game," he said.
"They are a good group of girls," Fondakowski said. "The whole team is like a family unit."
Warriors co-captain and first baseman Jess Uschmann attributed the team's success to two factors, pitching and coaching.
"We had amazing pitching," she said. "They kept us out of tight situations."
Angelina Massoia, Jess Colson and Lauren Brodeur comprised the pitching staff that posted 22 strikeouts and 81 walks over 213 innings pitched this season.
Co-captain Colson said her success on the mound could not have been possible without the help of her battery partner and full-time catcher Rielly Wieners. She added that quality defense and coaching were "definitely the highlight of the season."
Third baseman Becca Fondakowski said she believes that the emphasis on team unity largely attributed to their success. She explained that she had never played on a team with such a spirit of togetherness.
Becca said her love of the sport and her love for this team make her want to take the field each season.
Andrew said the goal for the coaching staff is to have the Warriors become the future Agawam High School varsity softball team.
He added that the team will continue to play together next season as they try to uphold their undefeated record in the Metro-League.