Stafford Makes Impressive Run to State Quarterfinals
Sitting at 7-5 midway through the season, Stafford ripped off an eight-game winning streak to close the year, winning two more games in the Class S tournament before falling in extra innings to St. Bernard in the quarterfinals.
It was a fitting end for the Bulldogs eight seniors, who have made it to three Class S quarterfinals and one semifinal the last four seasons.
“You could argue this is the greatest four years of seniors we’ve had,” head coach Steve Budaj said. “They’re going to be tough to replace.”
Stafford will lose Sam Bassett, Allison Martin, Morgan Quagliaroli, Lindsay Reid, Jessica Simpson, Tori Utter, Dani Clark, and Emilie Pierolo. Clark (center field) made the All-NCCC team for the second time and also earned first-team all-state honors. Pierolo (catcher) was a four-time All-NCCC member and joined Clark on the all-state first team.
Shortstop Jaime Sierra, second baseman Marita Brothers, and outfielder Renee Grenier will anchor the middle for the Bulldogs next season.
“We should be strong in the middle of the field,” Budaj said. “We’ll fill in the rest and see what happens.”
Fermi made it back to the state playoffs after going 4-14 last season. The Falcons finished 9-11 and fell to Bacon Academy in the opening round of the Class L tournament. East Windsor (1-16), Enfield (3-17), and Somers (7-13) each missed the tournament. The Spartans had made playoffs ten consecutive years entering this season.