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BFA senior caps prep career as Gatorade Vermont Softball Player of the Year

Bellows Free Academy grad Meghan Connor won the Gatorade Vermont Softball Player of the Year award and will continue her career on the diamond at Endicott College. (Photo: Richard Berthiaume)

ALBANS, Vt. (BVM) — Meghan Connor may not have been able to finish out her last season on the softball diamond, but she was still able to bring some hardware home with her.

Connor’s career at Bellows Free Academy (BFA) was highlighted by her ability as a three-sport athlete. Known as one of the school’s best softball players, Connor excelled on the soccer field and the ice, recording 52 career goals for the Comets’ hockey team. 

She’s gifted athletically, but she’s also got a determination that is unprecedented,” BFA softball coach Richard Berthiaume said. “She will work on her own, she doesn’t wait for the coaches to do work. She will go home and have her brothers throw her batting practice, her father hit her ground balls, her work ethic is unparalleled.”

On the softball field, Connor left her mark on the program in just three seasons. For her career, the BFA catcher racked up the statistics with a .512 batting average, 113 RBIs and 23 home runs. She also broke the school’s career hits record with 103 and would have added on to it during her senior year.

With the spring softball season canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, Connor missed out on adding to her resume. The Comets were also unable to defend their state title win from 2019, which saw them take down rival Missisquoi, 3-2, after a stellar 16-3 season. 

“We had a special group,” Berthiaume said. “We had a great playoff run last year, we knocked off the one, two and five seeds to win the state championship and we only lost one starter to graduation, so we were excited to come back and defend our title. 

“Not only are they very talented kids but they are great citizens and it was just a great group to be around, so not having the opportunity this spring to work with those kids was very disappointing.”

Without a season to play, the senior catcher for Bellows Free Academy was still chosen as the winner of the Gatorade Vermont Softball Player of the Year award. 

The honor recognizes athletes based on performance, character, and academics. With the spring season cancelation, Gatorade’s committee focused on “performance indicators” to help in the process as well. Connor’s work in the classroom and on the diamond helped her secure the much deserved recognition.

“When I spoke to a Gatorade representative, I told them last year that I got next year’s winner because she’s just a superb player and has been since she was a freshman,” Berthiaume said. “I was really excited that Gatorade decided to honor her season. 

“She was so excited when she found out that she was going to be the winner, her older brother won it two years ago so she kept it in the family.”

Connor will continue to play softball at the next level when she attends Endicott College in the fall.

“I believe she has the skills to compete at the next level,” Berthiaume said. “She won’t be satisfied where she’s at, so she’ll get better and I think she’ll have an outstanding career. Hopefully, I get the chance to take some road trips down south to get a chance to watch her play a little bit.”

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