Mount Everett softball coach Kurt DeGrenier called Alicia Bazonski a coach’s dream.
In her final season as the Eagle’s No. 1 starter, Bazonski won 17 games, threw four no-hitters and struck out more than 200 batters.
The University of North Carolina-Greensboro-bound pitcher led the Eagles to an undefeated regular season and a No. 1 seed in the Division III Western Mass. Tournament.
Bazonski’s dominance earn ed her third consecutive All-Eagle MVP selection.
"She’s hard-working and she never stopped trying to get better; in the weight room, summer ball, mastering pitches. ... She leaves big shoes to fill," DeGrenier said.
The work that Bazonski put in over five seasons as a varsity player lifted the Everett program to new heights. De Grenier said Bazonski’s career can provide hope to the next wave of Mount Everett players that dream of playing Division I college softball.
"Everything is within reach," he said. "It doesn’t matter if you’re playing in a D-III school in the farthest corner of Western Mass. Alicia saw [former Everett pitcher] Madeline Tomich and said ‘I want to be like her.’ She’s blessed with the strength and body to do it, but it just wasn’t there -- she developed it."
Of all the milestones Bazonski accomplished during her career, the one that stands out the most was not an individual honor. It was leading her team to a Western Mass. title in 2013.
Bazonski was dominant in the postseason, leading the Eagles to a 12-0 margin of victory in the tournament, capped off with a two-hit shutout of Turners Falls in the Western Mass. title game.
"They weren’t going to beat Alicia that day. ... She was radar gunned at throwing 66 miles per hour. We couldn’t of done it without her," DeGrenier said. "We just had to put runs on the board."
"Knowing that we haven’t done it in so long, I knew how much I wanted it, and how much [DeGrenier] and coach [Mark] Tomich wanted it, too," Bazonski said, when asked what motivated her during her impressive playoff run.
Bazonski joins a six-member 2014 class of recruits at UNC-Greensboro. The class includes only one other pitcher, and they’re joining a team that went 31-26 while competing in the Southern Conference.
The three-time MVP said she’s looking forward to continuing her career in college and is glad she can provide a positive example for future players.
While a lot of Sheffield residents will be rooting for the UNC-Greensboro Spartans next year, Bazonski’s legacy at Mount Everett will carry on.
"She’s fantastic teammate," DeGrenier said. "Players love her, coaches love her. ... She really did bleed blue and gold. She’s a positive influence with her school spirit. Her whole family was great to have as part of our program."
To reach Akeem Glaspie:
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