The coaches in the Catholic Central League affirmed what high school softball fans have known for a long time: Mia Nowicki can pitch with the best of them.
Nowicki, a 15-year-old sophomore flame throwing righthander for the St. Mary’s High School softball team, was the unanimous choice as the CCL Most Valuable Player following a regular season in which she averaged 12 strikeouts a game and led the Spartans to a 16-4 record.
And Nowicki is not done yet with her exploits on the mound this season. The daughter of former Matignon All-Scholastic athlete Paul Nowicki and Chelsea High softball star Tracy Constantino Nowicki was at Martin Field in Lowell Wednesday night hoping to advance St. Mary’s a step closer to the state championship game.
A state title would be the family’s third. Her father – arguably one of the greatest athletes in Chelsea city history – won one crown as a hockey player for the Matignon Warriors and teammate of future Bruin Shawn McEachern. Mia was a freshman on the 2014 state champion St. Mary’s girls basketball team.
And it’s the team that counts most for Mia. Even after striking out the side in Monday’s 4-1 win over Latin Academy and recording the save, Mia was talking up her teammates.
“I think [starting pitcher] Michaela [Hamill] and the team had a great performance and came up big,” said Nowicki. “We got this win and now we’re going to Lowell.”
Asked about her three-up-three down gem, Mia replied, “I just wanted to get my team out of the jam and win the game for the team and the coaches.”
Nowicki added to an already awesome repertoire of pitches with some new installations this season. “My two-seam fastball and my screwball have been working really well this year. I have a rise ball that I developed that works well on some days and a drop pitch.”
Nowicki said she is honored to be the league’s Most Valuable Player, an award her father received during his career in the CCL. “I am honored but I couldn’t have done it without my coaches and my teammates. My softball catcher has been awesome. She has a great attitude. And coach [Colleen] Newbury is an awesome coach who makes great decisions. She’s the best.”
Newbury, a softball legend in her own right who holds seven state titles including four as a player at Bishop Fenwick, used one word to describe Mia’s performance this season: dominating.
“She goes out there and makes a lot of plays to help herself,” said Newbury. “She gets a strikeout when she needs it in a big spot. She was clutch and very poised [versus Latin Academy]. She’s an athlete. She competes. I think she ranks up there with some of the great pitchers that I played with at Fenwick.”
Paul Nowicki said it’s been enjoyable for him and his wife, Tracy, director of the Chelsea Senior Center, to watch their daughter become one of the best pitchers in Massachusetts at a school she loves.
“It’s been a fun experience to be a part of – watching Mia grow and mature as a young lady as well as a softball player,” said Paul Nowicki. “She gets a lot of good support from the coaching staff and her teammates. They’re absolutely spectacular. It’s fun to come watch these games and watch her compete.”