WOOD RIVER JCT. — It doesn’t take long for veteran Chariho coach Dave Petrocelli to assess where senior Sarah Dias ranks among those who have played for the Chargers.
“There is no question she is the best hitter,” said Petrocelli, who just completed his 15th season as head coach. “We’ve had a ton of great players, but she is definitely the best hitter. She is a special player and we will miss her.”
Chariho started fastpitch softball in 1997.
Dias earned first-team All-State honors from the coaches association for the second straight year. She was also first-team All-Division I for the second straight time.
Dias, who played center field and pitched, hit .494 with a slugging average of 1.039 this season. She drove in 31 runs and homered nine times. She also led the team in hits (38) and runs (35).
She is the school record holder in career home runs (19), RBIs (91) and average (.427). She also had 132 hits and 28 doubles. Petrocelli said they could also be school records.
Audrey Poulton (2004) and Cassidie Ern (2008) are regarded among the better hitters to play for the Chargers. Dias’ career average was 139 points higher than Poulton’s (.288) and 61 points higher than Ern’s (.366).
She had more doubles than Poulton (5) and Ern (12) combined. Dias’ career slugging average (.748) was 184 points higher than Ern’s (.564) and 394 higher than Poulton’s (.354).
Dias had more than double the homers of Ern (7) and Poulton (1) combined.
“It’s hard to put into words what she meant to the team,” Petrocelli said. “She put in a lot of hard work, and she has a lot of talent. She truly got better each year.”
Sophomore pitcher Kate Powers was second-team All-State and first-team All-Division I.
Powers finished with an 11-6 record and a 2.34 ERA. She struck out 107 batters in 101.66 innings. She allowed just 40 walks.
Powers hit. 389, finishing with 19 RBIs. She homered twice and doubled three times.
“Kate kept us in a lot of games. We started out 0-2 and didn’t look too good. But Kate just kept battling,” Petrocelli said. “She always believed we would get better. I forget sometimes that she is just a sophomore.”
Junior second baseman Caitlin O’Leary was third-team All-State and second-team All-Division I. She hit leadoff and had the second-best batting average at .456. She finished with 36 hits, trailing only Dias. She was also second in runs scored with 25.
O’Leary homered once and finished with three triples and three doubles.
“She can hit and she can run. We relied on her to get on base from leadoff,” Petrocelli said. “She is also an excellent defensive second baseman.”
Sophomore catcher Chloe Joslin was third-team All-Division I. Joslin hit .411 and drove in 21 runs. She hit a pair of homers and finished with 30 hits.
Junior shortstop Haylie Wellman was named Division I honorable mention. Wellman finished with a .383 average with 31 hits and four doubles.
Senior outfielder Michaela Caparco was named academic All-State. Caparco hit .358 with four doubles.
After the 0-2 start, Chariho finished 18-6 and 12-4 in the league. The Chargers won three games in the playoffs and reached the final four before losing to Coventry. Chariho and Coventry were the only two public schools to make the final four.
Moses Brown, which also won the state basketball title and Division I championships in lacrosse and golf this school year, topped Coventry for the softball crown.