WOODBURY – If you ask recent Nonnewaug High School graduate Maiya Wendel how her senior softball season went, she will tell you about the Chiefs first.
“It’s really rewarding,” Wendel said during Nonnewaug’s signing ceremony for athletes who were going on to compete at the college level. “Most of them are juniors, so we have a lot of the girls who I’ve known since I was a sophomore. We know each other at this point, so we work real well together.”
Wendel will also tell you that this was her worst season. What’s more, Wendel won’t tell you that she reached a major milestone during her senior year, too.
Wendel reached the 100-hit club and finished her high school softball career with 105 hits.
As a freshman, Wendel was the Chiefs’ DH, and hit for senior pitcher Victoria Heavens. She followed up for 18-hit freshman campaign with 28 as a sophomore and an astonishing 39 as a junior.
Though she had 20 hits as a senior, Wendel helped turn around a program that started the season with three seniors and a lot of question marks. The Chiefs were just 3-10 on May 8, and then won their next five games to qualify for the state playoffs. The Chiefs finished the regular season with an 8-11 record, then beat Career in the qualifying round of the CIAC Class M tournament.
But Wendel will not continue her softball career in college. Instead, Wendel will play field hockey at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, PA.
A right side forward, Wendel was a Berkshire League all-star as a senior, and, coincidentally, helped break in a new head coach and help turn the team around after a tremendous second-half run.
Wendel said she’s very excited for her opportunity to play field hockey for the Rams, and that she was hoping for the chance to compete in athletics at the next level.
“I had to choose between softball and field hockey, and eventually I chose field hockey because I’m short,” Wendel said. “It’s hard to play softball in college when you’re not even 5-feet tall.”