STRATFORD—Angela Grindrod never imagined herself being a game-changer for the Stratford High softball program.
Heading into the last season of her high school career, Grindrod has been just that for the Red Devils.
As a pitcher, the hard-throwing left-hander has taken Stratford from a one-win season before she arrived to last year’s 14-win team as a junior.
On Wednesday afternoon, inside the SHS library, Grindrod took some time to look beyond her upcoming senior season, announcing her intention to take her softball talents to Albertus Magnus College in New Haven come the fall of 2020.
“When I put everything in line, it was the best choice for me,” said Grindrod. “I’m a family person so being just a half-hour away for me was good, and the softball aspect, how can I say no to a team that wants me? They were coming to me.”
The Falcons coaching staff told Grindrod that when she wasn’t pitching, she could also play some first base so that her bat would always be a weapon for the team.
That was a big selling point for her.
“I don’t think a lot of other schools would give me that opportunity,” Grindrod said. “I just want to play the game that I love.”
Grindrod has been doing that for a while now and when Stratford High coach Jackie Sherrick saw her at a varsity game in 2016, during the pitcher’s eighth grade year, her reputation had actually preceded her.
“Pitching alone, she helped turn the program around,” Sherrick said. “But it was also her knowledge of the game. Even the other kids, juniors and seniors, saw her and her higher expectations. She just had this leadership about her, even as a freshman.”
Grindrod, who played volleyball this past fall, didn’t realize her impact at the time but looking back on it she’s proud of joining classmates like Rachel Newall, Riley Matto and others in helping to build the Red Devils into an SWC and state tournament team.
“It’s just in the moment you don’t realize it, but you can see everything looking back on it,” Grindrod said. “It’s so incredible that me and Rachel and Riley, all coming together, it was just a great experience and to have our coaches feel that way, it means it has all paid off.”
One last season remains for the Grindrod, one more season to leave her mark on a program she has helped to turn around.
“She’s helped change the culture,” Sherrick said. “She’s brought a competitive edge and has helped put Stratford softball back on the map. People are noticing us again and when you say Stratford, you think of Angela, the left-handed pitcher.”
The left-handed pitcher ready to take her game to the next level and help Albertus Magnus build their own culture not far from home.
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