Bears christen new softball field with a win, good wishes from faraway alumni

Stonington High School softball coach Ann-Marie Houle, who conducts an alumni game each year, sent questionnaires to many of the program's former players, asking them for their recollections.

She received more than 50 responses and posts a quote of the day at the field for her players to read when they come to practice.

Houle spoke of those former players and coaches as part of her remarks Saturday when the Bears played for the first time on their new softball field, part of an overall $2.7 million renovation of the high school's fields, including an artificial turf football field.

Stonington (1-1) followed with a 13-3 victory over Chariho.

"Our motto this year has been 'New field, strong tradition,'" Houle said. "So while there has been new dirt added ... what is still the same is the work ethic of players, their determination and their focus and pride in their school and community.

"Every day when we step onto this field, we are reminded of those alumni and know that we are playing for the players of the past, present and future."

Houle said the good wishes for the Bears that traveled the farthest came from Julie Wood Lemley, a member of Stonington's 1995 state championship team who is living in Japan. Wood sent a YouTube video greeting to the Bears.

Houle said the messages have resonated with her players.

"It's important to understand who came before you," said Houle, herself an alumna of the program. "Once you leave here, you're always welcome back."

Said Houle, whose team is the defending Eastern Connecticut Conference Medium Division champion: "The tee-ballers at Little League deserve to play on this field someday."

Reader Comments


This time, the NFA softball team is unbeaten, too

Last time the Norwich Free Academy softball team played Fitch, not many people thought it was going to be NFA which came out on top. Fitch was undefeated and on its way to a Class L state championship run. NFA, the No. 6 seed, then...

East Lyme softball's Mikaela LoPriore (1-0) really likes to throw stuff

East Lyme graduated eight starters, two Eastern Connecticut Conference all-stars, two pitchers. Then. Opening day, 2015. And the new kid, junior Mikaela LoPriore, the first-year starting pitcher for the Vikings’ softball team,...

Fitch softball has coaching times two, with Prpich, Cooper

Kate Prpich, the Fitch High School softball coach who once won a state championship herself, missed last season’s fireworks by the Falcons to welcome her and husband Andrew’s first child, son Mason. Fitch won the Class L state...

Coaches Misto, Ward bring a little Westerly flair to the ECC

In 2007, Meredith Ward was the Gatorade Rhode Island Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year, competing for Westerly High School where she is the all-time leading scorer with 2,226 points.