Raiders softball schedule includes a trip to Wide World of Sports.
TORRINGTON: On Monday, April 10th, members of the Torrington softball team will board a plane at Bradley International Airport, bound for what they hope will be warmer weather in Orlando, Florida.
The Raiders, a year removed from a Class L semifinal appearance, are taking a trip of lifetime to practice and play regular season games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in a jammed packed six-day adventure.
Before they go though, they will attempt to play four games in four days, starting on Tuesday when they host Derby at 4. Rain is in the forecast.
On Wednesday, they match up with the Class S champions from a year ago, the Holy Cross Crusaders in Waterbury with first pitch scheduled for 3:45.
Torrington heads to Oxford on Thursday for a 4 o’clock game before returning home to take on another defending state champion when they host the Seymour Wildcats at 4 at Torrington High School.
It’s a pair of early season tests for the Raiders who lost all three games they played against the Crusaders (2-1) and the Wildcats (4-0, 6-0) a season ago.
Sarah Lawton is back for Holy Cross after leading them to their second straight Class S title a year ago, and is still a puzzle the Raiders have yet to solve.
For Seymour, Raider nemesis Raenna Geffert graduated but her younger sister, sophomore Jenna Geffert will take the mound for head coach Ken Pereiras this season.
The Wildcats beat Rocky Hill in the Class M finals by a 1-0 score last year and are still loaded top to bottom in their lineup.
Torrington, behind ace Ali DuBois, made the programs deepest run in the tournament in school history by getting to the Class L semifinals, before falling to eventual champ Fitch and Caroline Taber by a 3-0 final.
DuBois, who will attend Boston University in the fall, had pitched her team into the semi’s by throwing a perfect game in the Raiders second round 3-0 win against Pomperaug before following it up with a no-hitter against Brookfield in the quarterfinals, a game Torrington won by a 2-0 score.
The Raiders bring back a boat load of talent, led by DuBois on the mound and at the plate but the senior star has plenty of experience around her starting with third baseman Carissa Carbone who is as solid an infielder as there is in the Naugatuck Valley League.
A strong infield of Amanda Thiel at first and Alexis Tyrrell at second, is anchored by Lauren Jamieson at shortstop.
Taylor Rogers, Nina Julian, Sidnee Kovall and Nina Lestrud round off a strong and deep senior class who will roam the outfield positions and give head coach Maryann Musselman quality at bats.
Sophomore Alyssa Dowd takes over behind the plate, handling DuBois and her arsenal of pitches.
This is a seasoned and hungry Raiders team that has a sense that they did not finish what they set out to do a year ago, and should be driven to exceed expectations this year.
While in Florida, it’s a full slate that occupies nearly every minute of the team’s activities.
12 players will be on the trip that begins on Monday with a trip to the Wide World of Sports Complex batting gages at 5 p.m., followed by a practice from 6-8.
Tuesday brings an early start with an official game against NVL rival Naugatuck at 10 a.m. followed by lunch and a trip to Magic Kingdom that ends with fireworks at 10 p.m.
It’s a busy schedule but one balanced with fun as well.
Wednesday, the day begins a bit later with batting cage time at 11 followed by a pair of unofficial games against Rockville at noon and Coventry at 2.
The team and their families who made the trip head to Disney Springs at 6:30 with lights out scheduled for 10 p.m.
An early morning awaits the Raiders on Thursday, the last day for softball activities as they are due at the cages at 7 a.m.
An official game against Rockville gets underway at 8 a.m. followed by an unofficial match up against Berkshire rival Wamogo at 10.
The Warriors may have the best arm in the BL in Cyrena Zemaitis and return a strong team for 2017.
After a catered lunch at noon, the remainder of the day is going to be spent on some rides and tours at Hollywood Studios.
Dinner at Mama Melrose follows on Thursday evening.
Friday is a non-softball day but action packed nonetheless.
The group spends the majority of the day exploring Animal Kingdom before a special dinner at Tusker House at 5:15.
Saturday starts at Epcot before the team catches a flight back to Connecticut at 6 p.m., arriving back at Bradley at 9 p.m.
Litchfield County Sports will be in Florida when the team arrives and will bring you back the unforgettable memories that are certain to transpire over this six-day adventure.
Will this be the year the Raiders take another step forward?
We will know a great deal about what this team and season is going to look like once they get back to Torrington on April 15.