Recenty, I was very honored to be inducted into the Connecticut ASA Hall of Fame this year along with 6 other former players. Fast Pitch Inductees, Patti Fernandes, Rick Diniz, Bill Baer, Ludger Bedard, Scott Lund, Scott Phelps and Bob LaMay. The banquet was held at the Costa Azzura Restaurant in Milford, CT and I was thrilled to have family, friends and some of my Fastpitch Dynamics parents and pitching students in attendance. It was a terrific event and a fun time for all. Thank you all for attending!
As I look back of the 5 decades that I played, coached and taught the sport, I can’t help but be humiled by it all. Softball has enriched my life is so many ways and I will remain forever grateful. As long as I remain in good health I will continue to teach the sport I love. It is truly the best sport ever invented!
The mission of the Connecticut ASA shall be to promote amateur softball for all persons, to provide organized play under standard rules for all amateur teams, to provide standards of eligibility for all players and to provide tournaments leading to State and National Championships.
I am very pleased to announce that Savannah Small has made her verbal commitment to attend Niagara University. Coach Larry Puzan first noticed Savannah in a skills video and immediately recognized Savannah's talent and subsequently attended The New England Finest Showcase to watch her pitch in competition. He was impressed with her confidence, pitching and demeanor in the circle and asked Savannah to visit Niagara University to see the campus and meet the team. While on her unofficial visit with her parents to Niagara University Savannah was so impressed with Coach Puzan, the team and the campus as soon as the family returned home the next day, she called Coach Puzan to make her verbal commitment.
Savannah is the daughter of Jim and Karen Small of Grafton, MA where she is an Honors Student and the starting pitcher at Grafton High School. Savannah was a sophomore pitcher at Grafton High last season and had an winning record going 6-1 and then became the starting pitcher during the Massachusetts State Tournament. Savannah took full advantage of her opportunity by leading her team shutting out Nipmuc High School 8-0 and recording 10 K’s and then into the Division II Semi-Finals losing to Auburn High School in a very close game 2-1. Savannah built on her tournament success pitching for the Mass Raiders in some National Showcases across the US. She was becoming a seasoned and experienced pitcher.
Savannah had been a student at Fastpitch Dynamics for 2 years and has been an ideal pitching student and always willing to work hard in and out of lessons. Savannah has over 2 years to develop as a college pitcher and I believe will contribute as a winning pitcher at Niagara University with she walks on campus in 2018. Congratulations Savannah!
Cyrena has recently made her verbal commitment to attend Franklin Pierce University in the Fall of 2017.
Cyrena is the daughter of Paula and Jeff Zemaitis of Goshen, CT and the entire family is thrilled with Cyrena's decision. Cyrena was originally recruited by then head Coach Mike Pelland who has since retired but he was very impressed with Cyrena's competitiveness and intensity in the circle. New head Coach Hannah Griffin believes Cyrena can contribute immediately as a freshman and help Franklin Pierce compete for the conference title.
Cyrena had an impressive junior season at Wamogo High School. She went 18-4, earned an ERA of 1.25, a Whip of 0.63, had 248 strikeouts with only 9 walks and pitched a perfect game. Her hitting was just as impressive, hitting .543 with 2 doubles, 4 triples, 2 HRs and 29 RBIs. Cyrena was named All-Berkshire Conference and CIAC All-State.
Cyrena looks forward to her senior year on Wamogo High School and will continue to pitch for her Watertown Rapids team in the summer. Cyrena plans to pursue a BS degree in Physical Therapy at Franklin Pierce. Congratulations Cyrena!
I am very pleased how FDS pitchers performed this summer and as a result, most have starting their unofficial visits. They should be making their final decisions soon. If you have any questions on the girls please let me know.
Julia Murphy Class of 2017
Ireland Meissau Class of 2017
Cyrena Zemaitis: Verbal-Franklin Pierce
Sara Kennedy: Verbal-Villanova Univeristy
Joceyln Bodington Class of 2018
Kylie Gavitt Class of 2018
Savannah Small: Verbal Niagara University
Kari Marks: Verbal-Central Conn. State Univ.
Hannah Davis Class of 2018
Caitlyn Fallon Class of 2019
Katelyn Thompson Class of 2019
Lauren Card Class of 2019
For more information go to the Pitcher Profile and Video Tab. If you have any questions on any FDS pitcher please call me at 860-605-5336.
KATELYN THOMPSON SELECTED TO DIVISION I ALL WESTERN MASS!
Katelyn Thompson was an outstanding freshman pitcher this past season and was named to the 2016 All-Western Division I Softball Team. During her first varsity season she struck out 99 batters, walked just eight and allowed only severn earned runs over 84 innings! In her first varsity postseason start, struck out 14 and allowed just three hits to beat Northampton, 2-1, in the WMass quarterfinal. Also led the Falcons at the plate, hitting .449/.482/.538 from the leadoff spot.
Katelyn, now a rising sophomore at Minnechaug High, also helped her CT Eliminators softball team claim the 14U A Division Title at the USSSA Nationals Northeast tournament in July. Thompson pitched in severn of the the team's nine games in the tournament including the semi-finals and finals with an ERA of under 1.00. Excellent season, Katelyn!
I am very happy to announce that Kari Marks has made her verbal commitment to play softball at Central Connecticut State University.
Kari is the daughter of Ed and Lisa Marks of Granby, CT and comes from a complete softball family. Ed, her dad has been coaching in the CT Mirage organization since 2006, her mom is member of the board of directors, on CT Mirage, her Sister Alexa also pitched at Granby High School, her sister Julie who went on to her own softball career at CCSU just 2 years ago and of course all supported by their grandmother “Nana” who is a fixture at most games. This announcement is especially meaningful since I have had to pleasure to work with Kari since she was 8 years old and I was fortunate to see Kari’s growth and development of that 8 year period.
Kari started pitching in the Granby Little League where she led her Granby 9-10 year team to the Little League Regionals and concurrently started playing travel softball with the 10U CT Mirage 2K team coached by her dad. At 5’10”Kari is a tall and talented young pitcher with an enormous upside. She already is hitting speeds over 62mph and without question will be a 65+mph pitcher once she walks on the CCSU campus in 2018. Kari is a great teammate, a terrific young lady with natural leadership qualities. CCSU Head Coach Breanne Gleason put it best by saying Kari is a “Stud” pitcher already and can’t wait to have her part of the CCSU family.
Kari led her Granby Memorial High School team to a 18-2 record during the 2016 season was selected All-Conference, All-State and has hopes of going deep into the CIAC State Tournament. She also is looking forward to playing this summer with her CT Mirage 2K team.
Kari is a young and motivated pitcher with a bright future at CCSU. Her consistent work ethic and strong family values will help her overcome any obstacle in her path. Always positive and energetic, I look forward to working with her and seeing her develop over the next 2 years.
Congratulations Kari, “Big Ed” would be very proud of you!
It is with great excitement and pleasure to announce Nicole Teague has made her verbal commitment to attend Marist College.
Nicole is a 2017 graduate at Alvirne High School in Hudson, NH and has been working towards her goal of pitching at Division I for over 5 years. Nicole made her decision to attend Marist early this year and her parents, Karen and Mike were very pleased and delighted at her choice. More than 6 Division I schools offered Nicole generous scholarships so Nicole was both flattered and humbled by the attention. She shared with me that the college coaches “were all so nice” which made Nicole’s decision to attend Marist College even more difficult. In the end, her decision and was not exclusively based on softball, but rather a broader based equation based on her athletic, academic and career needs.
Every summer I make it a point to watch my pitchers in game situations and had to pleasure to watch Nicole pitch on her summer teams that included the Rhode Island Thunder Elite, the ECF Gold and most recently the nationally ranked Rhode Island Thunder Gold coached by David Lotti. Nicole is strong right hander with a good mix of speeds with an outstanding drop ball who attacks the strike zone with an aggressive mindset, but her attributes to do not end there. Nicole also possesses a balance of mental toughness, calm disposition, pleasant demeanor and personality……so long as you are not in the batter’s box.
Nicole started her training at Fastpitch Dynamics as a freshman in high school and at first it was not clear if the Teague’s would be able to make the trip from New Hampshire to my pitching studio in Connecticut which is a 2 ½ hour drive, but they made it down on a weekly basis. That kind of sacrifice does not go unnoticed by me and I am very grateful to the Teague family to trust me in training Nicole. Beyond Nicole’s skills and attributes, she is one of nicest young ladies I have ever worked with. Clearly, mom and dad were instrumental in insuring all their children are polite, appreciative and thankful. That is exactly the kind of student/athlete I try to attract and in Nicole's case I am very pleased she found her way to FDS.
Nicole has begun her junior year in high school at Alvirne High and she assured me this year they will win the New Hampshire State Championship. This summer Nicole will continue playing with the Rhode Island Thunder Gold competing in the best showcases in the US. She has always been appreciative of the opportunity to play for such prestigious team.
Becoming a successful college pitcher is a no easy task, so I look forward to training with Nicole and preparing her college career at Marist College. Congratulations Nicole and GO RED FOXES!
It is very exciting to announce that Amaria Sharon has made her college decision and will attend St. Joseph’s University in West Hartford, CT this fall!
Amaria is the daughter of John and Victoria Sharon of Tolland, CT who are elated that Amaria has decided to attend college in Connecticut, play for the St. Joseph Blue Jays and Coach Jim McKinnon a well-respected coach. Amaria’s mom and dad did a wonderful job imparting the virtues of hard work, commitment and independence to Amaria. This all contributed to her success in the classroom and on the softball field. With a GPA of 3.7, ranked 10th in her class of 218 and a member of the Tolland High School’s National Honor Society, Amaria’s accomplishment speaks for themselves.
On the field, Amaria has always been an impact softball player for all the teams she’s played on contributing as a pitcher, hitter and playing multiple positions. As a pitcher at Tolland High School she posted a career ERA of 2.2, a career Batting Average of .620 and she was voted MVP by her teammates every year! During the summer travel seasons, Amaria also played for the CT Tigers, the CT Green Devils and the CT Mirage organizations.
Although softball played a part in Amaria’s decision it was not her primary focus in attending St. Joseph’s, her ultimate goal is to become a doctor of optometry. Optometry is high in demand. Employment in optometry is projected to grow by 33 percent through 2020. Optometry also ranks at #12 on CNNMoney's list of America's 100 top jobs, so Amaria’s decision was very well thought out and executed.
Amaria started with lessons with me in 2012 and from the beginning she was a very independent and highly motivated student. “Never late and always prepared”, seemed to be her credo and squeezed the most out of every lesson. It’s not a surprise she was one of my favorite pitchers over the last 10 years that I’ve operated Fasptitch Dynamics. I have little doubt about Amaria’s commitment her career and to softball and believe regardless of the endeavor she will be successful. Congratulations Amaria and Go Bluejays!
RYLEE HEHIR SIGNS N.L.I. TO ATTEND SETON HILL UNIVERSITY!
I am very proud to announce that Rylee Hehir has signed her letter of intent to attend Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA.
Rylee Hehir the daughter of Chris and Dawn Hehir of Putnam, CT. Mom and Dad and very pleased that Rylee decided on Seton Hill and believe it was a perfect fit for their daughter and now can relax as Rylee finishes school and focuses on her college career.
Rylee, the outstanding pitcher from Woodstock Academy in Woodstock, CT visited Seton Hill University this fall and after meeting with the coach, touring the campus and joining the team, Rylee made the decision that that Seton Hill was the perfect school to attend and continue her softball career. Although Rylee was been recruiting by several Division 1 programs she was so impressed and overwhelmed during her visit to Seton Hill, her decision to commit was an easy one.
Rylee who grew in Northeast Connecticut, started pitching at age 11 and quickly entered travel ball beginning with the 12U Worcester Heat, then the 14U/16U Central Mass Destruction, followed by the 16U Connecticut Bombers and finally Rick Aremony’s CT Green Devils. She is looking to her last summer of travel ball with the Green Devils as she prepares for Seton Hill in the fall.
Rylee has an incredible is strong presence in the circle that includes a perfect combination of athleticism and composure. In all her games I had the pleasure to watch, I never saw Rylee get distracted and lose focus. Regardless of the score she always commits to her pitches and never gives in to hitters. Rylee possesses qualities rarely seen in today’s pitchers. Rylee is without question, “Old School” as some may say. Hard work is a lifestyle for Rylee and is something Rylee embraces. She is also an ideal teammate who interacts well with older and younger players alike and is always quick to give credit to others. As a pitching student in Fastpitch Dynamics Rylee never disappointed me by always giving me 100%, taking instruction well, never taking breaks, asking questions and never satisfied with her performance……an ideal student indeed.
Rylee offers Seton Hill a great deal besides pitching. Although many pitchers fancy themselves as hitters, Rylee is proven power hitter at all levels of softball and in my opinion will continue to hit in the 3-4 spot in college. Besides her athleticism, she is leader on and off the field and in and out of the circle and provides Seton Hill the kind of player to take Seton Hill deep into the NCAA Tournament. Rylee has all the ingredients to have an outstanding career at Seton Hill and I believe could be an All-American selection before she is done.
In Rylee Hehir, Seton Hill has signed a talented, dedicated and committed athlete that will contribute immediately when she walks on campus in September of 2016.
Congratulations Rylee! I am proud of you. GO GRIFFINS!
I am very pleased to announce that Sarah Magro has verbally committed to Bucknell University.
Sarah is the daughter of Paul and Stacey Magro of Norfolk, Massachusetts and to say her family is excited about Sarah attending Bucknell would be an understatement. Bucknell University is one of the finest universities in the U.S. and was Sarah’s top choice.
Sarah has been a pitching student in the Fastpitch Dynamics “College Program” since 2012. She was and remains one of the hardest working student-athletes I have had in the 10 years operating my school. Never once did Sarah disappoint me. It is always a pleasure to work with Sarah and her father Paul and consider myself fortunate to be Sarah’s pitching instructor.
Sarah played her Little League softball with the Norfolk Storm and then her travel softball with the Mass Drifters in the Boston area and began her high school career at Bishop Freehan High. In 2013, Sarah was then invited to play with the Rhode Island Thunder Elite team where she pitched against some of the best teams in New England. In 2014 Sarah was asked to join the nationally ranked Wichita Mustangs. Sarah traveled with the Wichita Mustangs and competed in some of the best and most competitive softball showcases in the US and was when she garnered the attention of many college programs. In 2015 Sarah tried out for several “Gold Teams” in the Northeast and was offered a spot on the Rock 18 Gold Team coached by Rick Waye, recognized as one of the best gold coaches in the US. After making the switch to the Rock 18 Gold Team Sarah rededicated herself to her game and by the fall of 2015 was recruited by no less than 6 Division 1 programs. After completing all visits in November and weighing all her options, Sarah decided on Bucknell University.
Now that Sarah has committed to Bucknell she can look forward to her junior year at Bishop Freehan High School where Sarah intends to the Shamrocks to a Massachusetts Division I championship.
Congratulations Sarah on your decision to attend Bucknell. Your hard work, persistence and dedication are good examples for young pitchers everywhere. I am very proud of you!
I am thrilled to announce that Grace Marsalo has made her verbal commitment to play for Boston University.
Grace a sensational pitcher and power hitter for the 16U PA Strikers recently committed to Boston University, but amazingly hasn’t even wore her high school uniform as yet. Athletic, talented and driven are only a few words that describe Grace. Although she is only a 2019 recruit, Ashley Waters the newly appointed head coach of Boston University was thrilled to have Grace committed to her program. The B.U. coaching staff noticed that Grace was a special young athlete on and off the field and projected that Grace would be a stellar additional to the B.U. softball program.
Grace is the daughter of Tony and Jen Marsalo of Morgantown, PA and are thrilled that Grace committed to Boston University and now she has ample time to prepare herself both academically and athletically to begin her career at BU. It is clear that behind every successful student-athlete you will find outstanding parents. That couldn’t be more true, then with Tony and Jen Marsalo. Tony and Jen not only were more supportive parents to Grace they were also the force behind the PA Strikers softball organization which they built from inception to being recognized as one of the best college prep teams in the Eastern US!
Grace and her father “Tony” were a motivated two-some that made the 4 ½ hour trek from their home in Pennsylvania to the Fastpitch Dynamic Studio in Connecticut to attend pitching lessons…..that’s a 12 hour day. That should give young pitchers everywhere what it takes to become a collegiate pitcher. That’s the furthest anyone has driven to come to lessons FDS, so I knew she would be a special pitcher, indeed.
We all wish Grace the best as she prepares for an outstanding high school career and I think we all will be hearing a lot about her. Congratulations Grace….Go Terriers!
I am proud to announce that Ali Dubois has made her verbal commitment to play at Boston University!
Ali is the daughter of Craig and Sue Dubois of Torrington, Connecticut and made her decision to attend Boston University after a visit to campus and meeting head coach Ashley Waters the new coaching staff. The BU visit must have made a lasting impression on the junior standout from Torrington High School since she made her decision after visiting some very prestigious schools to include Northwestern, Colgate, Bucknell, Villanova and Princeton. She was so impressed by head coach Ashley Waters that she just couldn’t consider any other program. Boston University’s approach when recruiting Ali was enthusiastic, honest and forthright and Ali felt the interest was genuinely sincere. As important as the appeal of the softball program was BU’s Engineering Program which helped make Ali’s decision all the more easier.
Ali started taking lessons at Fastpitch Dynamics when she was 11, but even at that young age Ali was determined to pitch in college and channeled all her efforts to achieve that goal. I was quick to notice that Ali had the propensity to spin the ball and was quick to understand many of the mechanical components. With the help of her father, she both teamed up to make sure Ali learned the many of the fundamentals early on and quickly learned breaking pitches. She then joined the travel ball circuit when she was 13 where the competition helped channel her competitive nature. Although Ali is not a tall pitcher, her 6 foot wingspan offered her some serious leverage commensurate with pitchers much taller than her. While training at Fastpitch Dynamics, Ali also set the curveball spin-rate record at an astounding of 33.5 rps which was the highest recorded in the US that year!
It was while playing Newtown Rock at Team New Jersey, that Boston University Coach Bill McDonald heard of Ali and stopped by to watch her throw. He was taken back by Ali’s movement and competitive nature and BU’s interest grew from then. After watching Ali for the rest of the showcase Coach McDonald, an experienced coach and ex-fastpitch player, was convinced Ali could be a force at BU.
Entering her junior year at Torrington High School Ali is off to a good start both on and off the field and some of her accomplishment were 2015 CT All State Softball, First Team 2015 All Conference Softball (All NVL), 2015 All THS Sports Team selection, softball 2015 THS starting varsity pitcher (0.289 ERA, 121 IP, 197 K's, 15-4 record), 2015 Republican American Athlete of the Week May 12th and joined Newtown Rock Gold in the June of -2015. Ali Academic awards include THS Math Award (soph), M. Tracy Conway Exchange Club, Le Grand Concours Award French 3 (soph), CT History Day 1st place Regional award winner (soph), THS Technology Education Award (fresh, soph), THS Physical Education Award (fresh), High Honors: 2010 – 2015, National Junior Honor Society 2012 & 2013, President’s Education Award 2013 and Math Award – Highest Math Average 2013.
I have no doubt that Ali will continue to excel as she finishes her career at THS and begins her college experience at BU. Congratulations Ali and GO TERRIERS!