The first half of the 2015 diamond campaign has provided a veritable rollercoaster ride for the Shepaug Valley School softball team.

Beset with a pre-season injury to Berkshire League all-star pitcher Kelsey Johnson, the Spartans have experienced a series of highs and lows, all over the space of four mostly windy, chilly weeks.

As the weather warmed, however, coach Steve Pickett's Region 12 bat crew showed Monday they have no intent to let up in their quest for a high finish in the Berkshire standings.

Also on their minds would be qualification for the state class `S' tournament.

An 18-3 road trouncing of Terryville's host Kangaroos lifted coach Pickett and Co. to 5-4, three wins shy of tournament qualification with 11 games to play.

The Spartans have been very, very good during some victories, including a 25-0 whitewashing of Litchfield and respective 8-2 and 12-2 wins over Housatonic and Gilbert.

However, coach Pickett's batgirls have also fallen meekly to Thomaston and Wamogo by similar 10-1 counts.

With Kelsey Johnson back in action now and shouldering yeowoman share of the mound duty, coach Pickett is hopeful his squad can finish strong, in the process earning a strong seed and possible home field for a state tournament contest.

"Kelsey started pitching a couple of weeks ago," reported coach Pickett, "and she's getting closer to full strength.

"Sophomore Aly Hofmann and freshman Olivia Moore have done a great job of pitching," he added.

The Spartans were set Wednesday to visit Lewis Mills in Burlington and Friday, May 8 will challenge Thomaston in a rematch at Ayer Field in Washington Depot.

"We have to keep hitting," concluded the Spartan mentor, "and play good defense every game."

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