WOOD RIVER JCT. — For Chariho High's softball team, the success of this season didn't end with junior pitcher Kate Powers and senior second baseman Caitlin O'Leary.
But it certainly started with them. Both were named first-team All-State and first-team All-Division-I Sullivan.
Powers finished with a 15-5 record in the pitching circle. She posted an ERA of 1.93 and had 192 strikeouts in 126⅔ innings. She also hit .418 and was second on the team in hits (33) and tied for the lead in home runs (3).
"Going into the season we knew at some point we would have to really lean on her," said longtime Chariho coach Dave Petrocelli, who announced his retirement after the season. "Having Kate on the mound in every big game, you can't ask for anything more. She was one of the top two pitchers in the state.
"Besides her fastball, she has a really good rise and a drop curve. She worked hard during the season and in the offseason to get stronger to throw a little harder. She does a lot of work behind the scenes. It's tough, because she's a three-sport athlete."
Powers was second-team All-State last season.
O'Leary, a four-year starter at second base, batted leadoff and posted a team-high .494 average. She led the team in hits (43), runs (29), RBIs (24), doubles (8) and tied with Powers with three home runs.
The 43 hits are a school record. O'Leary, who was also named to the All-Academic team, finished her career with 126 hits, second only to Sarah Dias (132). O'Leary, a third-team All-State selection as a junior, finished her career with a .380 batting average.
"She was really the heart and soul of our team. She drove the team," Petrocelli said. "We couldn't have done it without her. She's also a great bunter and very smart. She can hit the line drive to the gap and hit the ball out. No question she was one of the top three hitters in the program's history."
But Powers and O'Leary weren't alone in the postseason honors category.
Junior catcher Chloe Joslin was named third-team All-State and second-team All-Division. Joslin was second on the team with a .484 batting average, with 31 hits and 22 RBIs. She doubled five times.
"She's the hardest worker we have on the team," Petrocelli said. "She doesn't give up a lot of passed balls. There may be girls that throw harder to second base [on a steal], but she is extremely accurate and teams didn't run on us."
Joslin also demonstrates a calming leadership for the team.
"She anchors everything we do," Petrocelli said. "When she got hurt in the semifinals and had to leave the game it rattled us. Lucie Willett did a great job filling in, but it was tough not having her out there."
Joslin also calls every pitch and allows very few passed balls, Petrocelli said. She also possesses an accurate throw to second base on steal attempts, the coach added.
Senior shortstop Haylie Wellman was named second-team All-Division. Wellman hit .390 with 30 hits. She was second in the batting order and was an effective bunter when the Chargers needed her to fulfill that role.
Wellman played two years for the Chargers after moving to the area from California. She was a solid infielder at shortstop, Petrocelli said.
Sophomore Shelby Roode earned third-team All-Division honors. Roode hit .371 with three doubles and 20 RBIs. Roode was also a strong fielder. Petrocelli said she made tremendous improvement from her freshman season.
Senior right fielder Annaliese Kenney was All-Division honorable mention. Kenney hit .306 with 22 hits. She moved up in the Chariho order from eighth to sixth as her hitting improved over the course of the season.
Chariho finished the season 19-5, including a 14-game winning streak that followed a loss in the season opener. The Chargers reached the Final Four of the Division I tournament for the third time in the last four seasons.