Gina Georgetti playing softball at ECSU

Milford’s Gina Georgetti, a sophomore second baseman for the Eastern Connecticut State University women’s softball team out of Foran High, is part of a strong combine returning for head coach Diana Pepin.

“Gina will take over at second base,” said Pepin. “She has an amazing game sense and will make the plays. She is making great strides in her hitting and will leave it all on the field.”

Georgetti was a two-time all-conference and All-Academic selection for coach Jeff Bevino’s Lions, playing first base and starting all four years. A senior captain and high honors student, Georgetti  helped Foran reach the Class L title game as a junior.

With a potential Little East Conference championship on the line, Pepin and the Warriors are ready to take on the season.
“Our defense is solid but our hitting needs to be more consistent,” said Pepin, the program’s all-time winningest coach (339-185-1 in 13 years).

“We have a number of power hitters to put in the lineup. Right now, we’re a very cohesive unit, so if they all accept their roles, they can do some great things.”

Starting position players will be junior All-New England Region shortstop Alyssa Hancock, All-New England first baseman Sam Rossetti out of Shelton High, Georgetti, junior third baseman Samantha Rentz, sophomore centerfielder Samantha Bardos, and rightfielder Shannon Martin.

Sophomore Tyler Keegan and junior Emily Komornik from Shelton are currently contending as the starting designated player. The starting leftfield and/or DH spot may go to sophomores Rebecca DeFeo or Kelsey Mosher.

The team had a 25-13 record in the 2014 season and its fifth straight regular-season LEC title with an 11-3 mark.

The team returns a strong nucleus of 14 letterwinners, but must compensate for several key losses, including first-team All-LEC outfielders Mattie Brett and Stephanie Johnson, and utility player Megan Godwin, who missed much of last year with injury after three standout seasons.

Despite the graduation losses of that trio, the top returners from last year have allowed Pepin to create a solid lineup for this season.

There are six pitchers this year, among them returning starters Erin Miller and Samantha Valentine.

As a junior, Miller was named LEC Pitcher-of-the-Year, and split time with Valentine, a freshman a year ago.

Sophomore Summer Cipriani and Komornik will add valuable depth once again. Martin is also an option. Junior Taylor Smyth returns as the starting catcher after splitting time as a sophomore.

Sophomore two-sport athlete Danielle Robillard can fill several positions as either a starter or substitute. Additional players include sophomore Kristyn Ryan and freshmen Haeili Campbell and McKayla Poissant.

The captains were voted on by the team and are Miller, Hancock and Rentz.

“They are well respected and are helping the coaching staff out a lot by addressing issues before they happen,” Pepin noted

“Alyssa is vocal leader and a great teacher of the game. Sam is very mature, and Erin has worked really hard since her freshman year and really wants to take the team on her back and go places. They all complement each other really well.”

Keene State College, Eastern and Western Connecticut all received first-place votes in the Little East coaches’ pre-season poll and finished within three points of each other.

Despite finishing fifth a year ago in the regular season, Keene was voted first (coaches cannot vote for their own team) after winning the LEC tournament title a year ago and returning tournament junior pitcher Mariah Crisp, the LEC tournament MVP.

Pepin introduced two new coaches this season: Kate Spring and Tom Madera.

“Kate believes in my philosophy and what we’re teaching,” says Pepin of Spring, a former three-year player for ECSU. Spring works with the outfielders and the hitters and will be the first base coach this season.

Madera works primarily with the infielders. “He loves the game and really wanted to be involved this year.” said Pepin.

In 2015, the Warriors look to regain the form that provided them with three consecutive LEC tournament championships between 2010 and 2012, with this year’s three seniors contributing to that most recent championship as freshmen in 2012.

The ultimate goal this year is to win the conference tournament and move on to the NCAA tournament for the sixth time in the last eight seasons under Pepin.

Pepin said, “What’s important right now is being in the moment and playing each game as it comes. If we pay attention to details, then the winning will take care of itself.”