Rocky Hill-Cromwell Summer Softball Team: Coach Brian Dillon, Brandon McFarlin, Mike Dudis, and players Megan Khanna, Erica Dewey, Monica Dewey, Madison Dillon, Erin Slavin, Jaime Anderson, Grace McFarlin, Amanda McFarlin, Christina DeNovellis, Emily Killoran, Annie Ensign, Alyssa Carron, Samantha Smith, Tia Sheathelm, Faith Torello, Malena Signorello, Lauren Collasacco, Bridget Garrahy
The towns of Rocky Hill and Cromwell joined forces on the diamond this summer, creating a powerhouse in the Northern Connecticut Girls Softball League.
The two-town mash-up produced a team won 11 regular season games (tied for a league high) and made a lot of memories along the way.
Head coach Brian Dillon was joined in the dugout by fellow coaches Brandon McFarlin and Mike Dudis, guiding the high schoolers to the league’s second-best overall record.
“The team is a group of Rocky Hill and Cromwell kids that have known each other for a long time, and they’ve come together to play quite well. They’ve known each other from playing against each other in little league and high school, and now they’re playing together. They’re all friends and it’s worked out really well,” said Dillon.
Dillon previously coached Rocky Hill’s little league softball team and McFarlin coached Cromwell’s little leaguers.
Because of the size of the towns it was natural for the teams to merge for the summer softball season.
“We’ve coached this group of kids since they were seven years old in little league,” recalled Dillon.
“Our teams have been playing softball against each other, so we decided to bring the kids together. The numbers predict that we need to combine to play in the summer league,” added McFarlin, “For a while when they were younger they kind of disliked each other but now that they’ve been playing together for the past three or four years, they’ve become friends.”
Following a successful regular season, the team earned a dramatic 3-2 walk off win over Hebron in the weekend tournament.
Down 2-0, Tia Sheathelm blasted a two-run double to deep, tying and extending the game.
Faith Torello then scored the game-winner, crossing home plate all the way from first following a bunt from Megan Khanna.
Torello, Khanna, and Madison Dillon earned all-star recognition for their exceptional work this summer.
Excellent pitching and defense highlighted the team’s success, surrendering a league-low 39 runs during the regular season.
“We’ve been lucky enough to have a couple of really good pitchers,” recalled McFarlin.
Cromwell twins Erica and Monica Dewey received glowing reviews from coaches and spectators for their work in the field and from the plate.
From the top of the lineup to the bottom of the lineup, everyone contributed.
“It’s a good group of kids that like playing together. They love to play softball and that’s half the battle,” stated Dillon.
The players will now go their separate ways until they meet again this spring.
But this time they’ll again be separated into two dugouts when Rocky Hill and Cromwell begin a new annual rivalry during the high school softball season.
“There’s always that big rivalry between Rocky Hill and Cromwell and now they’ve come together and they’re friends. It’s going to be fun to watch them play against each other in high school now,” Dillon said with a smile.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin