Volcanoes: CIF Northern Section second place team after their championship game May 19. Back row from left: Jordy Smith, Kaela Wiseman, Sophie Dillard, Kassi Nine-Squire, Coach Tony Campa, Ashlyn Olah, Skylar Jansen, Chancey Juska, Emily Twitchell, Angela House, Olivia Luna and Destinee Rickert. Front row from left: Sophia Williams, Hope Haver, Elizabeth Bereznak and Grace Porter. Photo by Valerie Campa

Chester girls’ softball may be over but it’s not forgotten

Smiling Volcanoes relish their 16-2 victory over the Mercy Warriors May 17 that launched them to the final championships. Photo by Valerie Campa

The Volcano girls’ softball team made a nice mark on the competition as they took second place in the Northern Section Championships on May 19.

“This season was an amazing journey and I’m so proud to have been coaching these talented young women to a North Section Championship game, an appearance that hasn’t happened in over a decade for Chester High School softball,” said CHS head coach Tony Campa as he completed his first year with the Volcano team.

Normally a “travel ball” coach, Campa threw his hat in the ring when he applied for and was given the head softball coaching position at Chester this spring.

“It took some time for the girls to trust me, and for me to figure out where to put each player for the program to be most successful,” said Campa. “Once we all got on the same page, there wasn’t much stopping us. Before we knew it we were battling for a league championship, and then we were battling for the title of North Section championship.”

Campa credits the leadership of his four seniors — Hope Haver, Sophia Williams, Grace Porter and Elizabeth Bereznak, who Campa says he believes will be a softball coach someday — for bringing the team so far this year.

“Those girls rallied everyone and just put their hearts and souls on the field day-in and day-out. It was contagious,” said Campa.

Leading up to the final championship game, the Vols really fired up the cauldron to beat the Mercy Warriors on May 17 in a 16-2 victory.

Senior Sophia Williams has been pitching strong for the Vols all season and the May 17 game was no exception. Williams faced 21 batters and struck out five Warriors in the process.

Williams wasn’t alone in her winning efforts on the field, not by a long shot, as juniors Kaela Wiseman and Ashlyn Olah both hit home runs that game! Senior Elizabeth Bereznak hit a triple and freshman Chancey Juska hit a double. Scoring for the Volcanoes was freshman Jordan Smith with four big Volcano runs! Wiseman’s homer came with two more for a total of three Chester runs. Bereznak, Olah and sophomore Olivia Luna each added two runs each for the Vols. Juska, senior Grace Porter and senior Hope Haver all scored a run for Chester.

Championship game

Volcano senior Sophia Williams fires from the mound. Photo by Mari Erin Roth

In the final championship game, the ladies played against the tough Fall River Bulldogs and lost by a score of 4-2.

RBIs were hit by Kassie Nine-Squire and Ashlyn Olah. Runs were scored by Haver and Olah.

The Bulldog pitching was wicked as sophomore Natalie Osborne struck out 11 Vols! Ouch. Haver and Olah stole a base from the young Fall River pitcher, so that’s good, and Olah got a double off one of Osborne’s Bulldog pitches.

Sophia Williams took the mound for the Chester girls and managed to strike out three of the Bulldogs in six innings.

Next year promises to be just as successful with juniors Olah and Wiseman leading a young, but very talented team. Coach Campa, voted Coach of the Year this year, expects to have another appearance at the North Section title game.

“And if it works out the way I know it can, Chester High School will be hosting that game,” said Campa.

Bringing eight RBIs and seven runs to the Vols this season, slugger Kassi Nine-Squire takes a swing. Photo by Mari Erin Roth