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Checking in with ... Sophia DiCocco (NFA)

(Editor's note: The Day will be publishing a profile of a spring athlete for each day the high school athletic season is suspended.)

School: Norwich Free Academy

Class: Senior

Sport: Softball

Position: Pitcher/outfield

College choice: Tufts

Chosen major: International relations

Athlete you grew up admiring: Ichiro Suzuki, he was an outfielder with the Yankees and also a lefty batter. I liked his approach at the plate and as a lefty myself was someone I could look to and learn from since most coaches trying to teach me the game were righties.

Checking in with Sophia: "To my fellow senior classmates, this wasn’t the way we thought our senior year would go and I hope we will get to enjoy prom and graduation. It’s a lesson that life doesn’t always work out how you want it to but how we all respond to these challenges is what is important."

What you need to know about Sophia: DiCocco, who will continue her softball career at Tufts, authored one of the jaw-dropping moments of the spring last year when she came in from left field to face Cheshire in the middle of the Class LL state tournament semifinals following an injury to pitcher Bailey Comeau. DiCocco pitched the final three innings of a 4-2 victory, retiring the side in order in the seventh, to lead the Wildcats to their first state championship appearance since 2007. "As a part of a team, you need to be prepared to play when and where your coach and team needs you in any situation," DiCocco said. "At the beginning of the game, I was needed in the outfield and then unexpectedly I was needed in the circle to pitch. Being prepared for that moment allowed me to contribute to the team's success. ... The last inning was incredible." DiCocco's winter workouts included a strength and conditioning program which increased her pitching velocity from 62 to 67 mph. A member of The Day's All-Area team in the outfield, she was chosen to play for the Stratford Brakettes Junior team this summer. DiCocco, who is interested in a career in intelligence or as a political analyst, likes to bake and cook, draw, paint, raises chickens and is planning to sew her own prom dress. She also enjoys boxing, playing pickup basketball and was the quarterback in NFA's Powderpuff football game last fall.

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