The four-peat cut short: Softball seniors lose their shot

Courtesy of fsurams.com

Four years ago, three softball players came together and threw on Framingham State uniforms.

Kirsten Dick, Mycala Moody, and Kaylea Sherman.

Dick came from Tewksbury High, where she claimed multiple titles, and decided to play softball at Framingham the beginning of her senior year of high school.

“I knew one of the players, Tiffany Marsh, because I played high school softball with her,” Dick said. “I toured the school and went to a game and met Coach Miller. I immediately loved him and the school and couldn’t picture myself playing anywhere else.”

Moody arrived from North Attleboro High and chose to play for Framingham, like Dick, because of Coach Larry Miller.

“I knew I wanted to play softball, and this school was the perfect fit,” Moody said.

Sherman also came from North Attleboro High, and first decided to play softball at Framingham once she got accepted her senior year.

“I was looking into the program and really wanted to continue my softball career. I loved everything about Framingham,” Sherman said. “The chemistry on the team seemed like it was so much fun, and I wanted to be a part of a successful and fun team.”

Dick, Moody, and Sherman claimed back-to-back MASCAC Conference titles in their first two years.

Then, in their junior year, Jess Ball became a part of the team as the eventual fourth senior and joined the three in claiming another MASCAC title. She came from Quincy High School, but did not try on a black and gold uniform until her third year at Framingham.

“Jess has the incredible ability to bring some levity through humor or sarcasm at the perfect time,” Miller said. “Tour guide extraordinaire.”

Six years ago, Miller had his very first meeting as the Framingham State head coach. He told that group one of their biggest goals should be that they leave the program better than they found it.

“I’ve worked to keep that message going through the years,” Miller said. “Kirsten, Kaylea, Mickey and Jess, if this is when you ‘leave,’ you have left it better than you found it. But also know that you never truly leave… you are always part of the FRAMily.”

Moody took the plate 112 times her freshman year and batted .376 with 12 RBI and 10 stolen bases, as she earned the MASCAC Rookie of the Year award, a First-Team All-MASCAC selection, and was named to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III New England All-Stars.

“She’s the definition of a competitor, will put her body on the line for every play, every time,” Miller said. “One of the best pure athletes I’ve had the pleasure to coach.”

Both Dick and Sherman combined for just 10 plate appearances their first year, with Dick scoring eight runs during the season as she pinch-ran.

After claiming the MASCAC title, the three Rams began their sophomore season with a new face that would help push them to another.

Grace Caughey from Nipmuc Regional, came in and earned a spot on the All-MASCAC First-Team with a power bat as she hit .383 with eight doubles, a triple and three homeruns, to go along with 31 RBI.

“When I first joined the team, Kirsten, Mickey, and Sherm became some of my closest friends, which definitely made it better to play,” Caughey said.

Moody was named to the Second-Team as she batted .379 with five doubles, two triples and 18 RBI.

Dick saw improvement her sophomore year, as she scored 21 times and knocked in 10 RBI.

Sherman hit just one RBI in her second year, before taking a huge leap the third time around. In her junior year, she knocked in 20 RBI and scored 18 times, as she took the field 32 more times than her first two years combined.

“You will not find an athlete who works harder or is a better teammate than Sherm,” Miller said.

The reason for her lack of appearances was star player Danya Marchant who played the same position in right field. Marchant made an All-MASCAC team all four years she played for Framingham.

“Someone that I have always looked up to and always pushed me to be better was Dayna Marchant. She was the perfect teammate, always so positive and focused and always pushing others to get better,” Sherman said. “Me and Dayna would spend time outside of softball working out together, always trying to get better.”

Dick once again improved in her junior year, as she made the All-MASCAC First-Team after batting .355 while scoring 29 times and slamming 12 doubles, three homers and 22 RBI.

“The definition of trusting the process and working hard,” Miller said. “She has gotten better every day and was ready to unleash on the MASCAC in 2020.”

Moody batted .331 and scored 38 times, while knocking in 19 runs. Over three years, she recorded 133 hits, which stands for 10th in program history.

“The game of softball has changed my life. I started playing since I was 5 years old and never stopped. It taught me many valuable lessons and made me a better and stronger person,” Moody said. “Even playing softball in college, it is still teaching me things about myself that I never knew.”

The day of their third MASCAC championship win, this time with Ball, they played three games all right after each other, and came out of the loser’s bracket to win the championship.

“It was truly such an amazing day and a memory I will never forget,” Dick said. “We proved so many people wrong all season.”

Dick, Moody, and Sherman all came into their senior year with three titles each, and Ball with one.

“My favorite memories are definitely all the MASCAC championship wins,” Sherman said. “Since I have been on the team, my teammates have been my best friends and we do everything together.”

“I am so grateful to have met some of my best friends through playing softball at FSU. These people have a special place in my heart,” Moody said. “To be able to share my passion with them, and also to be able to count on them, is an incredible thing to have.”

Before their senior season could start, their fourth year at Framingham was cut short due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“When I found out that we couldn’t play our season, my heart was crushed. We all have worked so hard every day during our preseason, and the feeling of not being able to show what we can do is heart breaking and frustrating,” Moody said. “It has been tough without it, but hopefully I will be back for another season to claim a fourth title.”

“It was awesome winning two-straight championships with them, the second one with Jess Ball, because we were able to celebrate all our hard work and accomplishment together as friends,” Caughey said. “I’m upset that they’re gone. They are what this program is all about, winning three-straight championships and demonstrating that hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.”

Courtesy of fsurams.com

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