Shelton on a mission after reaching state quarterfinals

Alexis Resto, Anna Leone and Julia Krijgsman are All-SCC performers returning to the softball field for Shelton.

Alexis Resto, Anna Leone and Julia Krijgsman are All-SCC performers returning to the softball field for Shelton.

Shelton High Athletics / Contributed photo

Shelton softball returns eight seniors and three All-SCC players from 2021 when coach Lindsay Wheeler’s team won 13 straight games to end the season and advanced to the Class LL quarterfinals.

It wants more.

“We had a mental practice where the girls’ set goals for themselves and for the team. Consistently across the board they want to take the SCC banner and go farther in states. Two rounds of games weren’t enough for them,” Wheeler said.

Pitcher Julia Krijgsman and third baseman Rachel Kiman are captains.

“Julia has gotten stronger and more confident in her various pitches, she works her spins well,” Wheeler said of her all-league righthander who will next pitch for American International College. “Rachel is a natural leader on and off the field. She plays with such confidence and brings everyone together. She is my No. 2 hitter.”

Krijgsman will bat cleanup. She has a career .454 batting average with 50 runs scored, 71 RBIs and 33 extra-base hits.

Alexis Resto brings her All-State earning glove to first base.

“Alexis is a fine fielder. She batted like .630 and her on-base percentage was in the .900’s,” Wheeler said. “She is going to Western Connecticut. Alexis struck out only three times all year. She just drives runs in. She is clutch.

“Anna Leone is at shortstop, where she was all league,” Wheeler added. “She is my constant. Her batting average was close to .500. She is my No. 3 hitter and always puts the ball in play. She is a fantastic fielder and will be playing at Albertus Magnus.”

Catching Krijgsman, who has 28 wins in her two seasons, will be freshman Jeanise Serrano.

Wheeler said: “Jeanise has a very strong arm. I’m excited to see a freshman who controls the field the way she does. Jeanise also has a strong bat.”

Shelton graduated second baseman Kaylee Gura.

“This year we’ll split time at second with junior Kylie Chiesa and sophomore Julianna Bojnec,” Wheeler said. “Both are very scrappy and have a lot to bring offensively and defensively. They are pushing each other.”

The outfield is solid with three seniors.

“Amanda Kiman is our centerfielder. She does a great job tracking the ball. She is my leadoff hitter. She has speed and runs the bases well. I can rely on her getting on base. As a team we run the bases well and are smart,” Wheeler said. “Jackie Jenco, my catcher from last year, and Taylor Silva will flip-flop in the corner outfield positions with senior Sarah Broad. They are interchangeable and can play all the positions.”

Wheeler likes how a few of her freshmen handle to bat but knows a tough schedule could limit their productivity.

“We have Cheshire, we have Amity, East Haven, West Haven twice. It is a hard schedule and pitching will be good. I picked up games with Trumbull and Seymour. We are challenging ourselves. We want to get the best out of our girls. They will face better teams, better pitching,” she said. “We played Friday against Norwalk (5-1 win). We have scrimmages left with Stamford and Fairfield Warde before we open with Amity. We’re going right into the fire.”

Wheeler loves her team’s moxie.

“I’ve been coaching softball for over 20 years,” she said. “This group allows me to me. We have an open line of communication. We have fun, we can be silly, but when it comes time to getting the work done, we do that.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354