The Hillers Warm up their Bats for the New Season

“I’d be lying if I didn’t also say I want HHS softball to win the TVL this year”


As spring sports roll around at Hopkinton High School, the Hillers softball team is starting to practice for the big season ahead of them. Being part of the Tri-Valley League, it is always a big goal for the team to dominate the other eleven teams to take on the name “TVL Champs.”

Shannon Allberry, the head coach of the team, was hired at HHS 15 years ago and has been coaching the softball team for a good capacity of that time. She took a break last season to spend time with her family, but this year she is ready to be back on the field.

“I’m very excited to be back with the team this season,” Allberry said. “I think what I missed most was helping our athletes make progress toward their individual goals and creating opportunities for them to gain confidence and enjoy success.”

Building chemistry and working together as a team has always been a big goal for the Hillers.

Harrigan, #14 on the team.

“My goals are for the entire team to become really close and for us to be able to make it to the tournament and have fun throughout the season,” said Bailey Harrigan, a Senior Captain of the team.

Harrigan started her career as a softball player when she was in kindergarten.

“I’ve stuck with it because I think it’s a fun sport to play and it’s not intense like some other sports so it’s easy to have fun while playing,” Harrigan said.

Harrigan believes that she is an approachable teammate and a good source to fall back on, considering many of the players came to her with issues last year.

“Bailey Harrigan is incredible with relating to people, she’s approachable and is always there to remind us that softball is a game and to move past any hiccups or mistakes and take the next opportunity we get,” Coach Allberry confirmed.

Coach Allberry also spoke about another senior captain, Kelsea McCoy.

McCoy talking with her friend, Katie, about her upcoming game.

“Kelsea McCoy is more of our quiet leader,” Allberry said, “She leads by example on the field— she is coachable, will play any position we need her to and is always the first to volunteer to help the coaches with drills. Kelsea’s work ethic is something that I think a lot of our younger players look up to.”

Knowing much about the Hillers softball program, McCoy gave some good insight about the state of the team this year.

“Last year was our rebuilding year after we had eight seniors leave. The program was pretty small and this year we had a lot more people try out which I hope can lead us to a successful season,” McCoy said.

The team lost two of their good pitchers who were seniors last year, so the team strives to fill those spots on the team this year. The team this year is much younger overall, as there are many freshmen and sophomores. Being a returning sophomore on the team, Zoey Adams spoke about her confidence for the season.

“I feel pretty good about the underclassmen leading the team,” Adams said, “We have very strong upperclassmen as well, but it is good to know that the program is growing with the large underclassmen group.”

Some teammates working together at school on game day!

There are only three seniors on the team this year, all of which are captains of the team. The last senior captain Allberry spoke about was Caroline DeSimone.

“DeSimone brings softball knowledge to our leadership. She sees things that, sometimes, as coaches, we can’t see, as we’re trying to watch so many different things at once. She has an incredibly high softball IQ, and high standards for herself and her teammates. Caroline is always looking for ways to help everyone around her get better,” Allberry said.

Coach Allberry wants to make sure that all of her players will be able to look back on this season and see growth and success in different ways. That being said, there are two players that she has seen improve already: Clara Morabito and Benny Romani. These two players are Italian exchange students and have put themselves out there by trying out for the team this year.

“I’m so proud of them for trying something new as neither has ever played softball before,” Allberry said. “They’ve already improved so much and I think will continue to develop their softball skills and knowledge over the next couple of months.”

“Take Every Opportunity” is the team’s motto that they are carrying over from last season. Coach Allberry explains this quote in the way that the players will be most successful if they take every opportunity to work on their mechanics, fundamentals, communication, and sportsmanship. She truly believes that her team embodies this mindset.

“One of my goals for the team this year is to help to foster an environment of trust between the players and the coaching staff. Our individual players have an incredible amount of raw talent, but our success as a team will come from building trust between players and ensuring that everyone is doing their part to push the team in a positive direction,” Allberry said.

She believes that she can rely on each and every one of her athletes to hold each other accountable so that they can get the most out of every practice and game, especially with her senior captains all bringing different leadership roles to the team.

Along with the team’s growth-oriented goals, two main goals across the board are to make it to the state tournament and to win the TVL championship.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t also say I want HHS softball to win the TVL this year,” Allberry said.