By MICHAEL LETENDRE
When you have an outstanding scholastic career in softball, what’s the next logical step?
Move on to the next level to strut your stuff on the collegiate level.
That’s exactly what Bristol Central standout Olivia Banulski plans to do as she signed a National Letter of Intent on Tuesday, Nov. 19, afternoon to play softball at Malloy College.
And, to her credit, Banulski will be going from one successful program and step right into another.
Molloy College, located in Rockville Centre, New York on Long Island, had one heck of season in 2013 and went 53-14 overall in a very busy campaign.
The Lions are a NCAA Division II program and last year, it carried a 24-4 record in East Coast Conference (ECC) play.
Banulski knows how to hit for average and, obviously, so do the Lions.
Last season, Malloy collected an overall batting average of .321 and allowed opponents only a .190 average on the year.
It’s a great signing by the Lions and a great situation for Banulski to be placed in.
She’s been a staple of Central’s outfield over her first three seasons in both left and
Over the past three seasons for the Rams, she wasn’t just one of the statistical leaders on the squad but a leader on the field as well.
And who knows what her season campaign of 2014 will bring.
In her three years as a member of the Central’s program, the squad won a total of 52 games and participated nine state tournament contests.
Under two outstanding coaches at Central – Phil Pirog and Nicole Shook – Banulski improved her skills each season and by the time her junior campaign rolled around, she was certainly a tough out at the plate.
And the numbers she put up on a daily basis speaks volumes.
As a freshman, the Rams went 18-5 as Banulski played in all 23 games, was second in batting average (.362), third in hits (25), and drove in 12 RBI.
The Rams went 13-8 in Banulski’s sophomore season and she once again played in every game.
But at the plate, she was simply on fire.
She smashed out 42 hits (in only 80 at-bats) and batted an unreal .525 with 24 runs scored and 10 RBI.
Finally as a junior last year, Central – like Banulski – was outstanding as the Rams went all the way to the Class LL semifinals, dropped a tough 9-2 decision to Mercy on June 5, but were on the cusp of a state title bid.
At 21-3 overall, Banulski somehow improved her batting average by going a mind-boggling 44-of-81 from the plate (.543) tallied 14 RBI and easily led the team in runs scored with 39.
There wasn’t much Banulski couldn’t do on the field and, in all honesty, Molloy picked one of the best local talents to join their program for the 2015 campaign.
While the Rams will certainly miss the talented Banulski at the end of the spring scholastic season, she will certainly make an impact on the next level quickly.
All the great players usually do.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE