Mount Everett pitcher Alicia Bazonski took her team to heights rarely reached by previous Eagle softball squads.
Mount Everett won the Western Massachusetts Division III softball tournament, a feat accomplished only once before. They won a school-record 19 games in the regular season, and a school-record 22 overall.
In addition, the Eagles shut out the field in Western Mass. play, winning their three games by a combined 12-0.
To be sure, Bazonski did not accomplish all that alone. But her part in it is enough to earn her her second consecutive All-Eagle softball MVP.
Her numbers in the Western Mass. tournament were pretty overwhelming: for three games, three shutouts, seven hits allowed, 36 strikeouts and three walks. For those scoring at home, thats a 12-to-1 ratio of strikeouts to walks.
Her work in the regular season was equally overpowering: three no-hitters, two one-hitters, six two-hitters, 19 games with 10 or more strikeouts. She struck out more than 236 batters, while walking just seven batters all year.
"She didn't walk a lot of people," said Eagles coach Kurt DeGrenier. "And in fact, while we didn't walk anyone interntionally, there were a couple of situations where we pitched around people. So two or three of those were because of that."
"She's a great competitor," said Eagles assistant coach Glen Devoti. "She has great confidence in herself, and the team has great confidence in her.
The Eagles lost once in the regular season, an early season 6-2 defeat at the hands of Western Mass. Division II champ Wahconah. In the postseason, they lost to Central Mass. champion Assabet Valley, 3-1 in extra innings.
"With Alicia on the mound, I told the kids, ‘Against good teams, we needed three runs. Against not-so-good teams, we needed one run,' " DeGrenier said. "That's how good she was."
The capper of the season was Bazonski's domination of Turners Falls in the Western Mass. finals. Bazonski allowed two hits and shut Turners out.
"That was huge," said DeGrenier. "Turners Falls was going after their 10th consecutive Western Mass. title. They are a dynasty in Western Mass. softball."
Bazonski is only a junior. DeGrenier said he believes that as long as Bazonski has been playing for him, she has improved every year.
"I think for the first few years, Alicia was more of a thrower," he said. "Now, she has more command of the strike zone, she has a couple of pitches and she can throw them at different speeds. She puts in a tremendous amount of work in the offseason, and it has paid off. And she will be better next year."
That is a little daunting to ponder.