Whiz Kid’s Name and Age: Katherine Acocella, 16
Whiz Kid’s School:
Whiz Kid’s Accomplishments: Two-year varsity starter was 3-for-4 and scored three runs in a 6-1 state-qualifying victory over New Milford last week. She also earned SWC All-Colonial honors following her sophomore season last year.
Whiz Kid’s Key to Awesomeness: Acocella credits her work ethic as a key to her successes in the sport.
“I work really hard,” said Acolella, who has worked with New Milford High School head coach Eileen Holden at the Hit Club in Torrington. “I take lessons out of school which helps me improve as a player."
Barlow head coach Kristen Fallo and assistant coach Erika Profenno are grateful for Acocella’s contributions to the squad. She is batting close to .400.
"She’s a great team player,” Fallo said of the “very coachable,” and “very dedicated” athlete who puts other players on the team first. “She does what it takes for the team."
A strong work ethic also makes her popular with her teammates.
“We all work really hard as a team and we support each other as a team,” the junior center fielder said.
Acocella, who formerly played for the Redding travel team, currently plays for the Stratford Breakers over the summer. She also practices with the Breakers in the fall when the high school season is dormant.
Acocella has come to favor the middle of the outfield.
“I like fielding popups and having to long run for balls (catches),” she said.
With senior year on deck, Acocella has been in touch with a few Division III coaches, but has not finalized her list yet.
Acocella began participating in Barlow’s softball program her freshman year on the junior varsity level.
While the Falcons have dropped three in a row, they are still hoping to make the SWC playoffs for the first time since 1998.
“Each season is getting better and the team is getting stronger,” Acocella said. “I’ve improved as a player and I think everyone else has, too."