WORCESTER — In 17 years at the helm of Bridgewater-Raynham Regional softball program, Mike Carrozza has fielded a number of stellar teams.
There have been four trips to the Division 1 South final, resulting in a pair of titles.
This season, he fielded a great team, one that capped a 25-1 season with a 9-0 blanking of Holy Name at Worcester State Saturday night for the program’s first state title.
Holly Greet departs as one of the hardest workers Carrozza has ever coached. This season, she was the starter at first base, making a seamless transition — to the tune of a .975 fielding percentage — from third base, where she had played the previous two and a half seasons. She will play at Framingham State.
“She made a lot of infielders look really good by making some really nice plays over at first,” Carrozza said.
Her replacement at the hot corner was classmate Madi Shaw, a two-time Globe All-Scholastic who is the Trojans’ all-time leader in slugging percentage (.852) and home runs (21). And her totals might have been higher, but she missed several weeks this spring with a pulled hamstring. In her return, she belted a monstrous home run in the South semifinals.
Despite the earlier injury, she stole 12 bases during the state tourney, raising her career total to 62. Carrozza could not confirm that Shaw’s career numbers in stolen bases, doubles, and triples ranked first in team history, but he did say they were “right at the top.”
Defensively, she also owns a career .967 fielding percentage.
“She’s probably the best overall player that I’ve coached, and the big part with that is attitude, which she maintains game to game, practice to practice,” Carrozza said of Shaw, who will play collegiately at Fordham. “She always stays at equilibrium. She’s always just been the epitome of wanting to play softball and loving the game.
“I’ve had some kids that hit for average but other little things were lacking here and there. There’s been players that were good defensively. But I think in terms of the entire package, Madi’s the entire package. She’s the best.”
Junior ace Sarah Dawson has already committed to play for the University of Pittsburgh. At 6-foot-1, the towering righty is a power pitcher whose offspeed pitches perfectly complement her dominant fastball.
Carrozza ranks Dawson with any pitcher he has had at B-R, including Christina Berardi (Class of 2007, four-year pitcher at Curry College); Brittany Eldrige (’08, four years at UMass-Dartmouth); and Audrey Dolloff, a senior during Dawson’s freshman season who now pitches at Southern Connecticut State University.
“The fact that she and Madi are going Division 1 makes the program that much more formidable,” said the coach.
“It’s a great thing, especially when every pitcher you face in the tournament is going somewhere.
“When they play you, they say, ‘Oh, jeez, she’s going to Pitt,’ and it puts them back on their heels a little bit when they face her. I sure would be.”Pat Bradley can be reached at email@example.com.