STONINGTON — Stonington High's Miranda Arruda and Colette Dreher delivered in so many different ways for the school's softball team this season.

The lone senior starters set the tone for a young team that coach Ann-Marie Houle hopes will pay dividends in the future.

"What Miranda and Colette did for us as a program, we will see in the years to come," Houle said. "We were a really young team. They never took a practice off. They knew the underclassmen were looking at them and they wanted to set an example."

Arruda and Dreher also delivered on the field and that was noticed by the league's coaches — they were both first-team All-ECC Division II selections.

It is the third time Arruda has earned the recognition and the first time for Dreher, who was honorable mention the two previous seasons.

Arruda, the Bears' leadoff batter who plays center field, led the team in hitting (.452), hits (38), runs (31), home runs (6), doubles (5) and tied for the team lead in RBIs (24).

She finished her career with 106 hits and 118 runs scored. She also homered 19 times and had a career batting average of .411.

Arruda was also an All-State field hockey player and All-ECC basketball selection.

"I thought Miranda had an unbelievable season," Houle said. "I think what a lot of people overlooked is how competitive our schedule was, and for her to hit close to .500 was insane. 

"In the past, we've had people hit close to .500, but we were mercying a lot of teams."

Houle said Arruda's success is built on hard work and a drive to improve.

"She makes it look really easy, but behind the scenes she is a hard worker and so dedicated. She was always eager to get better," Houle said. "She was just an unbelievable kid and athlete."

Dreher played second base and finished with a .355 batting average. She drove in 18 runs and scored 19 times. She finished with 27 hits. Dreher hit .380 for her career with 89 hits, 55 RBIs, 74 runs scored and 13 doubles.

"I think Colette got overlooked in the past for first team," Houle said. "She perfected the double play of tagging the runner and throwing to first. She was a consistent second baseman. For me, I will always remember the grand slam she hit out of the park at Old Lyme."

Dreher's grand slam came on a two-strike pitch in the sixth inning and sailed over the center-field wall to help Stonington rally to defeat the Wildcats, 13-8.

Sophomore Tori LoPresto, who played shortstop, was an All-ECC Division II honorable mention selection. LoPresto hit .395 with four triples. She finished with 30 hits and 17 RBIs.

Junior Sarah Flakus received the team's ECC scholar-athlete award, and freshman Maddie Stepski was the sportsmanship award winner.

Stonington, which returns seven starters next season, finished 11-12. The Bears lost twice to Waterford, the Class M state champion, twice to NFA, the state runner-up in Class LL, and Chariho, a final four team in Rhode Island's Division I tournament.

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