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Junior Lauren Card has recorded 36 wins in the circle for the North Haven softball squad since her freshman year. Lauren has verbally committed to continue her career at the Division I level at the University of Hartford. Photo courtesy of Lauren Card

Junior Lauren Card has recorded 36 wins in the circle for the North Haven softball squad since her freshman year. Lauren has verbally committed to continue her career at the Division I level at the University of Hartford. (Photo courtesy of Lauren Card )

Card’s an Ace in the Hole for the Indians

Published May 17, 2018 • Last Updated 12:30 am, May 17, 2018

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Lauren Card is putting together an excellent career on the mound for the North Haven softball squad—and she isn’t even a senior yet. Lauren has been outstanding for the Indians since becoming the varsity team’s pitcher midway through her freshman year. Now a junior, Lauren has 13 wins to her credit this spring and 36 victories for her high-school career. She’s already made a verbal commitment to play for Division I University of Hartford after she graduates from North Haven.

“I was looking at other schools, but when I went to Hartford, I fell in love with campus, and I love the coaches,” says Lauren. “I also like the distance it is from my house. I’d live on campus, but I would like my parents to be able to come and watch me pitch.”

So far this season, Lauren has struck out 132 batters in 119 innings pitched for the Indians, who have a record of 14-3. Last week alone, Lauren totaled 40 strikeouts and tossed a pair of shutouts as North Haven won all three of its contests. Lauren has a knack for making opposing batters swing and miss, although the right-handed hurler credits her battery mate and fellow junior Gigi Russo for many of her K’s.

“I think she’s helped a lot. She’s a big reason why we’re doing so well. I’ve been pitching to her since I was in middle school. We’re good friends,” Lauren says. “I get a lot of strikeouts, because Gigi knows what to call and when to call it.”

Lauren features an array of pitches that keep the hitters guessing. She throws a fastball, a changeup, a curveball, and drop-ball. Lauren learned how to throw her best pitch—the drop—from her personal pitching coach, Julie Boldic.

“My go-to pitch is my drop,” says Lauren. “Since I was 12, I’ve been going to the same pitching coach, Julie Boldic. She’s been teaching me the drop, and I fell in love with it.”

In addition to working with her own pitching coach, Lauren plays travel softball throughout the offseason. This year, Lauren is joining the New Jersey Pride, and she and her family will make the long drive to practice twice a week, so that she can prepare to pitch at the next level.

“In the summer, I play a lot of softball. I used to play on the Connecticut Eliminators. This is my first year with the New Jersey Pride. Practice is usually once or twice a week, and the drive could be up to three hours if there’s traffic,” she says. “This summer, we’re going to Colorado for a week, and Chicago for like four days. We do tournaments or showcases and play like six games in a weekend. I think travel will help me get ready for my future. We play really tough teams and face really good hitters committed to really good schools.”

North Haven softball Head Coach Karen Castagnola is seeing how much Lauren’s commitment to her craft has paid off. Last year, Lauren made the All-SCC First Team by notching 17 wins with an ERA of 1.63, while helping the Indians win 20 games and their division title. Now, Lauren is in the midst of another great campaign, and Castagnola believes the Indians owe a lot of their success to Lauren’s skills on the hill.

“I’ve seen her grow stronger and smarter every year. She is highly competitive and an incredibly dedicated individual who works extremely hard at her position,” Castagnola says. “She has cut her ERA in half from a year ago, which reflects just how dedicated she is. I’m glad she’s here at North Haven. I trust her when the ball is in her hands, and I know her teammates do, as well.”

Even with such a bright future, Lauren looks back fondly on her freshman season, when she had the chance to pitch to her older sister, Rachel Card. Lauren says that one of the biggest reasons she started pitching was because her sister was always there to catch for her.

“Since she was a catcher, I just wanted to be a pitcher. Sometimes I would just throw to her, and it would be fun,” says Lauren. “I think that helped a lot, having somebody I could throw to.”

As North Haven gears up for a postseason run, Lauren is ready to support her team with both her actions and words. Lauren feels that if the Indians stay engaged and communicate on the field, then the rest will take care of itself.

“Communication is key,” says Lauren. “If everyone’s talking, then we’re really all on the same page, and it’ll keep the team together.”

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