Velasquez commits to DII Bridgeport


Johnston junior infielder Arianna Velasquez took a big step forward in her softball career, recently committing verbally to Division II University of Bridgeport.
Velasquez, who also plays travel softball for Bombers Elite, had a breakout sophomore campaign for the Panthers, who reached the playoffs for the second straight season. She finished the year batting .377 in 19 games to go along with 20 hits and 18 RBI.
After visiting the Bridgeport campus and meeting the team, Velasquez was thrilled to announce her verbal commitment.
“It was a big relief for me. When I started playing travel softball, that was one of my biggest dreams, that was my biggest goal. When I achieved it, it was a breath of fresh air,” said Velasquez. “I visited and the environment, everything was perfect. The team was so welcoming and (Bridgeport) Coach Dawn (Stearns) was really nice. They’re a really good DII team and they’re very competitive which I like.”
Velasquez will also have a familiar face on the team as well, as Bombers teammate and former Pilgrim star Madi D’Amato is on the roster.
“I’m really nervous, but knowing someone on the team has helped me feel comfortable and she was very helpful when I went to visit. I really wanted to know the team and she helped me out with that,” said Velasquez.
Although Velasquez is a middle infielder for the Panthers, she is ready to take on any role that Bridgeport sees fit when she arrives. She is also looking forward to the family atmosphere at the college level.
“I’ll happily play any position. I just want to play college softball. I’m going to live, eat, sleep with these girls once I get there, so it’s going to be interesting and it should be a stronger bond. It will definitely be more competitive, I can already tell,” said Velasquez.
With two more high school seasons on the docket, she is also hoping to bring home a state championship to Johnston.
“I have a lot more room for improvement confidence-wise. We just started the high school season so I am focused on that. We have a small group this year and the past two years we have fallen short in the playoffs. Hopefully we can win a state championship because that is a big goal of mine as well,” Velasquez said.


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