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Senior Selena DeFelice scored 27 runs as the top courtesy runner for the East Haven softball team this spring. (Photo courtesy of Selena DeFelice )
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Selena DeFelice entered her senior year with the East Haven softball team with the understanding that she wasn’t going to be getting too many at-bats or playing in the field that much. However, Selena accepted her role as the Yellowjackets’ top courtesy runner and made the most of her final season with the squad.
“I just enjoy being with the team and being a positive influence for the team,” says Selena. “I wanted to continue my path with softball. I just enjoy the game.”
Selena played a lot of second base and shortstop when she was growing up. While her primary role in high school was as a courtesy runner, Selena still saw some innings in the outfield for East Haven this spring. In fact, Head Coach Ed Crisafi would occasionally substitute Selena into the outfield for defensive purposes late in the game.
“I can play anywhere. It’s good knowing I can go anywhere I’m needed,” Selena says. “I know I can play any position to the best of my ability for the team.”
Coach Crisafi was impressed with how Selena contributed to the Easties while constantly displaying a team-first demeanor throughout the 2019 campaign.
“When we met at the end of last year, Selena came out and said she’s more than happy to be a courtesy runner. Not many players, especially seniors, would come out and say that nowadays,” says Crisafi. “Selena may not have played as much as she would’ve liked to, but the way she practiced every day, the way she cheered for her teammates every game, hopefully, the young kids will see that.”
As a courtesy runner, Selena typically stepped in for pitchers Tori Heaphy and Emilee Bishop whenever they reached base. Selena’s speed on the base paths helped her score a team-high 27 runs this year.
“I’m naturally a fast person, and I love scoring runs for the team,” Selena says. “I just constantly cheer and watch the game, so I know what is going in if I go in. I have to know what’s around me.”
Selena was presented with the Yellowjackets’ Sportsmanship Award at the end of the season. Selena felt honored to receive that distinction, but she was happiest with the fact that she helped East Haven notch 15 wins and advance to the championship game of the Class L State Tournament.
“It was very inspiring to know how important I was to the team,” says Selena. “I didn’t know how big of an impact I had in helping the team.”
Aside from softball, Selena also served as the manager for the East Haven boys’ basketball team. Selena started tabulating the stats as a sophomore and continued in that role through her senior year.
“We pretty much kept track of the score, fouls, timeouts—all that stuff for both teams,” Selena says. “My sophomore year, I volunteered to do it for community service and ended up like it so much that I continued through the rest of my high school career.”
Selena also worked hard to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA) while she was a student at the high school.
“I did clinicals for 10 weeks and managed my time between that and softball and became a CNA,” says Selena. “I’m able to work as a CNA in any hospital, nursing home, rehab center, or anywhere hiring CNAs.”
Selena enjoyed her senior season with the East Haven softball team. She had a great time competing alongside her friends and loved every second of the Yellowjackets’ wild ride to the Class L state final.
“This year, the team was definitely very close. We had that bond. It was unbreakable,” Selena says. “We always did everything together and that helped us a lot to get through to where we did.”
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