By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington senior Abby Lamson has often persevered under pressure for the Lady Knights softball program since joining the varsity as a freshman. It comes as no surprise that an NCAA Division I softball program would want her to play for their team.
Lamson signed her National Letter of Intent to play softball for the University of Massachussets-Amherst on Nov. 29 in the Southington High School library. She did so in front of a throng of family, friends and teammates. Lamson loved her interactions with UMass coach Kristi Stefanoni and her assistants.
“When I went on my visit, I just fell in love with her as a coach and the rest of the coaches,” Lamson said. “The campus was ultimately what I wanted. The size of it, it’s really big, and it’s not for everyone, but that’s what I wanted.”
Lamson is looking at political science for a major at UMass and has aspirations to be a politician, but law school would come first. UMass is also the Alma mater of Southington coach Davina Hernandez. Lamson and Hernandez are both excited about the former becoming a UMass softball player.
“I think it’s so cool,” Lamson said. “It’s so nice just to be able to talk to her about it and everything, and being able to relate to her so much. I think it’s the coolest thing.”
Hernandez said she and Lamson first discussed UMass in the fall of 2017. Some past players had expressed interest in UMass, but none had been offered. With Lamson, it just kind of fell into place, according to Hernandez.
“I had talked to the UMass coach at our alumni weekend about Abby, and she ended up getting a chance to see her play a week later in a big tournament in Florida,” Hernandez said. “She really liked her, and they started that communication.”
Lamson plays in the offseason for the Rhode Island Thunder Gold team, which is nationally ranked. Lamson stands out at Southington in part because of her versatility. She has played multiple positions, including catcher, third base and first base, and that versatility will make her a good fit at UMass.
“It’s really good being able to move around, especially when I go to UMass,” Lamson said. “That’s going to be a big thing for me, because as a freshman, I want to go in, do the best that I can and help the program.”
Lamson was fundamentally sound entering high school, according to Hernandez, and she and her coaches just worked on making those fundamentals even better. Lamson made an impact as a freshman for Southington, then went on to earn All-CCC honors as a sophomore and junior. She was also named all-state as a junior. Lamson led the Lady Knights in hitting as a sophomore with a .479 average. Lamson drove in 34 runs in 24 games in her junior season, which led the team.
As for her senior season, Lamson noted that Southington will need to find a replacement for standout pitcher Kara Zazzaro. The Lady Knights would love to get back to the state semifinal round, where their season ended in 2018.
“We do have six seniors coming back, so that’s a good strong upperclassmen base for us to help lead the team,” Lamson said. “Most of them had varsity experience last year, and I think that will provide good leadership for us. Once we figure out who’s pitching, we’re just going to go from there.”
Lamson’s versatility could come in handy for Hernandez.
“I think, because she is so versatile, that Abby could be playing more than one position for me this year,” Hernandez said.
Wherever Lamson plays, her bat, solid fundamentals and ability to play anywhere are sure to follow.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com