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Nipmuc Softball sets sights on Final Four

Nipmuc seniors Sera DeBaggis, Janelle Scirocco, Kate Julian, and Ella Calvey are returning league all-stars and leading the team this spring. Courtesy photo

NRHS out to a fast start in 2024
By Chris Villani
Coming into the 2024 season, Nipmuc head softball coach Stephanie DeBaggis said her team is focused on trying to build on the program’s success in recent years.
“We would love to go further in the playoffs,” DeBaggis said. “Two years ago, we made it to the round of 16. Last year, we were in the rough of eight. This year, we are hoping to get to the final four, at least, but we know a lot can happen between now and then.”
Heading into the final week of April, Nipmuc was off to a strong start in its quest to be among the top teams in the state. The team won its first seven games behind a group of seniors and juniors who have been playing together since before they entered high school.
“We had to make a decision: how is this year going to go?” DeBaggis said. “They decided to bring the fun back while trying to keep it serious. They found that balance.”
The coach added, “I said ‘if you guys can keep doing that, it’s going to be a good year.’”
All four Nipmuc seniors were Dual Valley Conference all-stars in 2023. Three of those all-stars are pitchers, giving the team depth at a critical position.
Janelle Scirocco is one of pitchers and was predominantly in the circle at the end of last season. When she is not pitching this season, she has usually been a designated hitter but can also play infield and outfield if needed. Kate Julian is another pitcher and also plays first base, and Ella Calvey is a pitcher and right side infielder when not in the circle.
Nipmuc also returns Sera DeBaggis, a shortstop who also spent time catching last year.
“All four seniors are huge factors for us,” DeBaggis said.
In addition to the pitching depth, Nipmuc’s lineup has been strong with six players batting north of .400 and another four with batting averages of .300 or better. Catcher Keegan Kelley, a junior, powered the offense with a two-home-run game early in the season. Junior Isabelle Nicholson is a standout at second base and classmate Bridget Klupa has been strong in left field. Sophomores Brynn DiAnni, a centerfielder, and Kira DeBaggis, an infielder, have helped round out a solid lineup that DeBaggis hopes will be able to compete with the area’s top teams.
“We want to be in every game, we want to play teams tough,” the coach said. “Some games might be easier than others, but we just want to stay focused because, when the big games come, we want to be ready for them.”