FRANKLIN — The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference website has 182 schools listed on its enrollment page.
Last on the list — the smallest high school in the state that has an athletic department — is the Academy of the Holy Family, which has just 42 girls roaming its halls.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Holy Family softball team put the finishing touches on the most successful regular season in program history, courtesy of its 16-0 win over Putnam. The win leaves the Marists at 17-2 and atop the CIAC Class S rankings with the Constitution State Conference tournament beginning on Thursday.
Coach comes back
Holy Family athletic director Dan Nagle knew the Marists had been improving every season and building for this year, but when he needed a coach, he knew exactly who to call.
Tom Scott was an assistant and head coach at the school in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and decided to return for what will be his last year of coaching.
“Not a bad way to go out,” Scott said with a smile. “You finish where you started.”
The small number of girls at the school, coupled with the fact that only three programs — soccer, basketball and softball — are offered, works in the school’s favor.
“Almost half the school goes out,” Scott said. “Everybody plays, they work hard and we don’t cut anyone. All the kids who play soccer, play basketball and play softball. They get to be a pretty tight group by this time of year.”
Junior catcher Sarah Majewski came halfway across the country and became a part of that group.
Her family sent her to Baltic for her freshman year for a good education. While she still occasionally gets homesick, she has become part of the family at Holy Family.
“It’s amazing,” said Majewski, who is from Indiana. “You get to know your team a lot more. You’re deep friends with every single one of your teammates. They become like your family. I feel like this is one of the best teams I’ve ever been on.”
It has been a banner year for the Holy Family athletic program. The soccer team went 12-5 and lost in the Class S second round to eventual champion Old Saybrook and the basketball team earned its first state tournament win in 11 years.
The softball team might be the crown jewel of the entire program.
They have scored double-digit runs in 16 of their 17 wins and 17 of 19 games. Their only losses came in extra innings to Wilcox Tech, and to Abbott Tech, when they were down three players because of senior activities.
“No excuses, we should have played better than we did, but I know if we play like we did (Tuesday) we can compete with teams in the (CSC) West,” Scott said.
On Tuesday, Majewski hit a three-run home run to cap a six-run second inning for the Marists and scored twice during a 10-run fourth. She finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs.
Shelby Grauer pitched five shutout innings, allowing just three hits.
“It’s amazing how people can come together from all over to this small school and just work together through the good and bad,” said Grauer, who became the second player in school history to break the 1,000-point plateau during basketball season. “You get used to playing with the same people. You learn what frustrates them, and you know what to say to pick everyone up.”
Bridget Holte hit a three-run triple in the fourth and Amy Roberts added a two-run triple in the inning.
“These kids have really worked hard,” Scott said. “They make it easy on you as a coach. You put it on paper and they go out there and perform.”