BY YANEEK SMITH
Coach: Jim Fish
Last year: 9-15
Outlook: The Danbury Lakers are led by their only senior, Eliza Brickner. The shortstop, who has a scholarship to continue her career at Notre Dame College in Euclid, Ohio, is the team’s rock, according to coach Jim Fish.
“She’s a great student-athlete, person, and leader. She’s our rock and coach on the field,” said Fish. “She plays a great shortstop and has home-run power. She sets the tone with effort for every rep in practice and every play in games.”
Fish’s daughter, Ellie, is the starting pitcher.
“She’s very good and getting better. She had a solid freshman season, has a great love for the game and works as hard as anybody on the team,” said Jim Fish. “She routinely goes to the gym on her own after 2.5-hour practices and puts in a lot of work year-round. We expect Ellie to continue to grow and improve and become one of the top pitchers in the league.”
Ellie Fish’s battery mate is catcher Olivia Dove, the co-captain.
“She’s very good behind the plate and improving every game,” said Jim Fish. “She provides great leadership to our younger players and is a great teammate.”
Sophomore Michaela Harris (OF) is the lead-off hitter with Ellie Fish hitting second in the lineup. Brickner bats third, followed by Ella McDonald (3B/SS/UT), Moriah Hatfield (1B/3B/UT), Thea Brickner (2B/OF), Dove, Hannah Bickley (OF/1B) and Sarah Collins (2B/3B/OF).
The rest of the team is comprised of Jordyn Smith (OF), Alyssa Jenkins (OF/1B) and Mary Blackford (OF/1B).
“Michaela Harris is our left fielder and lead-off hitter. I would put her up against any outfielder in the conference defensively. She had a “Wille Mays” catch against Hopewell-Louden in last year’s sectional final,” said Jim Fish. “She also hit .450 the second half of her freshman year. No one takes losing harder than “Mich,” and she’ll have trouble sleeping for three nights if she doesn’t go 4 for 4.
“Sarah and Hannah are expected to play second base and centerfield, respectively. Both are good defensively and improving daily as hitters through hard work. Jordyn provides important energy off the bench.”
The future is bright, too.
“We have a strong and athletic freshman class with three starters in Ella McDonald, Moriah Hatfield, and Thea Brickner, and we expect Mary Blackford to get key at-bats and contribute off the bench,” said Fish. “Ella already hit her first career home run last Thursday against Arcadia. We also have a transfer from Tennessee, junior Alyssa Jenkins. We expect Alyssa to be an important contributor and potential middle-of-the-order hitter.”