Berkshire Force 16-U softball team selected for Babe Ruth World Series season
The Berkshire Force 16-under softball club has taken the first step toward this summer's Babe Ruth World Series in Pittsfield, selecting a 14-player roster.
Five Berkshire County high schools, Miss Hall's School and Herberg Middle School are represented on the roster, released late Sunday night by Force head coach Jim Clary.
The team members are: Megan Boyle, Jillian Campbell, Ashley Keegan and Kailey Bell from Taconic; Emily Koldys, Allie Hunt and Erin Murphy from Pittsfield; Julia Murphy and Kacey Sondrini from St. Joseph; Miranda and Rachel Voller from Mount Greylock; Kayla Kowalczyk from Wahconah; Alex Desrochers from Miss Hall's; and Hayley Tobin from Herberg.
Clary and assistant coaches Jim and Serina Stimpson originally wanted to go with just a 12-girl roster -- Babe Ruth allows as many as 15, according to Clary -- but the Force staff decided to carry 14 players.
"The team last year just jelled very well," Clary said. "Hopefully it happens again this year. The girls, right now, have just got to find positions. We're taking the best of the best of local Berkshire schools and making a team out of it. I think we'll be successful."
The Force's first practice is Tuesday.
Pittsfield pitchers' circles are well-represented on the roster, as Koldys was PHS' No. 1 starter and Murphy often toed the rubber for the Crusaders. Clary said Koldys added a solid tryout to her good season with Pittsfield, making her a candidate to be the No. 1 starter.
"She really pitched well when PHS played St. Joseph, which kinda got us looking at her even more," Clary said. "Julia really blossomed from last year to this year. She worked very hard over the winter [with] a personal pitching coach. She could be a 1 or 2 along with Emily."
Hunt -- who drove in five runs in PHS' Western Mass. Division I tournament-opening win over Chicopee Comp last week -- is a returning player from last year's World Series team.
"She's a true all-star," Clary said. "She's a natural athlete."
Miranda Voller is also a returning player, having been named to the World Series All-Defensive Team as a third baseman in 2013.
Don't ask Clary to pick top offensive players, though. He thinks all 14 are capable run-producers.
"I think hitting is going to be our greatest strong point this year," he said.
The Force will play an estimated 25-30 games in the next month and a half before the regional tournament in New Hampshire in mid-July. After regionals, they'll have a weekend off before the World Series begins July 29 at the Doyle Complex.
"We have numerous tournaments and games we're going to," Clary said. "Hopefully, it's straightened out by the time regionals come."