Casida, Coventry clinch NCCC regular season softball title

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May 16—WINDSOR LOCKS — Remington Casida knows where the next chapter of her softball career will take her.

The Coventry High senior has committed to Endicott College, an NCAA Division III school in Beverly, Massachusetts.

The unknown for Casida though is how the current chapter will end.

That’s what’s kept her focused all season.

“I knew I had a big job that I needed to get done here,” the catcher said. “So being able to focus on this year was obviously the main goal. I’m super excited to go to Endicott. But I just know I need to finish my time here and help get us as far as we can.”

Phase one of the “big job” was completed Monday.

Casida walked in all three of her plate appearances and scored twice as the Patriots topped Windsor Locks 14-0 in a game that was called after five innings due to the mercy rule to win the NCCC regular season championship outright.

It’s the first NCCC regular season title for the Patriots (18-0, 14-0 NCCC) since they shared the 2019 title with Ellington.

Coventry, which was ranked No. 10 in this week’s GameTimeCT/New Haven Register state poll and No. 1 in the Class S rankings, had clinched a share of the league crown with its 14-2 win over Somers May 9.

“It’s amazing. It’s just incredible,” Casida said. “I knew that coming into this year, we were going to be very successful. So just to be able to say that we’ve accomplished one of our goals is just great.”

To Casida, this year’s success can be traced to Coventry’s loss in the semifinals of the 2022 Class S state tournament.

“I think (during) our loss against North Branford, we made a lot of mental mistakes,” she said. “So being able to have that experience and bring it into the new season, we’re more mentally prepared. Obviously, we know a lot of us have great skills. And 80% of the game is mental. So just being able to have that mental toughness is really what’s getting us far.”

Casida has been a varsity player for the Patriots in all three of her seasons — her freshman campaign in 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, one area of ​​her game has grown more than any other for Patriots coach Jeff LaHouse.

“Confidence,” he said. “When she started when she was younger, it was kind of like you’re the younger one and you’re learning for the older ones. Now she is one of the leaders out here. Even last year, she was one of the leaders . She’s stepping up her game.”

Casida has posted a .286 batting average, a .400 on-base percentage and a .531 slugging percentage while also adding 15 RBIs this season.

But perhaps her biggest contributions have come from behind the plate.

Casida has caught 107 innings this season. She’s caught one runner stealing and allowed just five stolen bases and three passed balls.

“She calls all the pitches,” LaHouse said. “She basically calls the game. Elizabeth (Mitchell) gets all the spotlights, and don’t get me wrong Liz is phenomenal, but she’s as good as she is with the help of Remmy. It’s a team. She hits the ball hard and her softball IQ is really high. She knows the game.”

Casida committed to Endicott last August.

“During the recruiting process it was obviously a tough pick,” she said. “Specifically I remember just watching their games and seeing their team energy and seeing how they lifted each other up and everything. As soon as I met the coaches, I knew it would be a good fit. I just felt like home there, and they ‘re really competitive in their sports, which is something that I’m excited about.”

She plans on majoring in business marketing and advertising and hopes to make an immediate impact on the Gulls, who won their fourth straight Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament title last week.

“Even if it’s just warming up the pitchers in the bullpen,” Casida added. “I want to make myself known at the start and just contribute as best I can. Kind of make my mark on Endicott softball. That’s my main goal.”

At the same time, he still has goals to achieve at Coventry High. Namely, leading the Patriots to the NCCC tournament title and its first Class S championship.

“We just have to play like Coventry softball plays,” Casida said. “Just make our own way until the very end.”

The Patriots scored single runs in each of the first two innings Monday before adding four in the third, including an RBI double by Charlotte Wesoloskie, to make it 6-0.

A grand slam over the left field fence from Lily Rand highlighted an eight-run fourth as the Patriots completed the scoring.

Lindsey Harrington had a hit, three RBIs and a run scored in the win. Teammate Caroline Wesoloskie added a hit and two RBIs while Julia Boya finished with two hits, an RBI and two runs scored.

Elizabeth Mitchell was the winning pitcher, allowing two hits while striking out four and walking one in four innings. Cece Gardner struck out two in an inning of relief.

Bella Canon and Keziah Rodriguez had the hits for the Raiders (2-14), with Canon also drawing a walk. Canon took the loss.

Windsor Locks visits Valley Regional today while Coventry entertains Norwich Free Academy Wednesday.

“The undefeated thing, I told them this before, it happens to be where we are. But if we don’t go undefeated, I don’t care. I really don’t,” LaHouse said. “It doesn’t bother me. All those games that got us here are behind us. The NFA is up next. That’s going to be a tough game.”

For coverage of UConn football and men’s basketball as well as area high school and local youth sports, follow Adam Betz on Twitter: @AdBetz1, Facebook: Adam Betz — Sports Writer, and Instagram: @AdBetzJI.

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