SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Friday evening's Armed Forces Appreciation Game was a double bill, as the Jonathan Dayton Softball Team also held senior night festivities in honor of the two team members set to graduate this June.
Manager Allison Pando and first baseman Maggie Phillips were both honored, as the team demolished David Brearly by a score of 10-1.
Speaking about both members of the team after the game, Coaches David Rennie and Pamela de la Llave both had effusive praise for the Phillips and Pando.
"Maggie, I've coached four years with basketball too, so I've had eight seasons with her," Rennie said. "And she is just the consummate student-athlete. She does a great job in school, she's a great teammate, she's a fantastic role model for the younger players."
de la Llave also had nothing but praise for Phillips.
She's such a great player. The past four years, she has done nothing but work and work, and she is the most coachable girl that I think I've ever had to work with." de a Llave said.
"She shows up every day, she does what she has to do, she's no-nonsense...she doesn't let the game get to her," de la Llave added. "She's always so calm, and she has such great at-bats."
on the managerial side, both coaches also had praise for Pando.
"Allison did a great job keeping the book," de la Llave said. "But it's not just the regular book. She had to learn the whole iPad app, and the correct ruling on what's a hit, what's an error...it was just a lot for her to learn and she did a fantastic job for us management-wise."
And for Rennie, Pando's contributions were felt on and off the field.
"You always rely on a manager to do her job so that you don't have to worry about those things," he said. "You can focus on coaching the game. And she was that kind of manager. We could always rely on her to do the job with the book...she was great to have and we're going to miss her too. Just a great kid."
Reached for comment after the game, Phillips reflected on what she would hold onto from her time in the Dayton program.
"I'm definitely taking away just how our team works together...just the memories and the friends and the game," Phillips said. "I'll probably play club in college if I can."
Phillips also said that she never thought she'd be in position to crack the hundred hits club, but was grateful to everyone who got her there.
For Pando, she felt that her time on the team was constructive and that she made plenty of new friends.
I know that although I wasn't playing with them, I made new friends and the coaches have always been so nice to me," she said. "They always included me, and I just have a great bond with everyone now."
Pando also said that she would remember her time on the team fondly while in college.