Brittany Labbadia


Jason Pires says Brittany Labbadia is on his “Mount Rushmore” of softball players he has coached at Berlin High School.

“She’s the best player I ‘ve had the pleasure of coaching in my [19-year] career, and I would argue one of the best softball players ever at BHS,” Pires said.

Labbadia is humble. “I know so much about the tradition and all the great players who have come through the program,” she said. “To be held in that regard is really overwhelming.”

Her parents Lynn and Rocco were and remain advocates for participation in and the love of athletics. “Soccer, volleyball; it always seemed, growing up, there was a ball around,” Brittany said.

And softball was the family’s No. 1 sport. Lynn, a member of the Platt-Meriden High School and Quinnipiac Athletic Hall of Fames, later was a Quinnipiac assistant softball coach and Rocco a Quinnipiac volunteer assistant softball coach.

When Brittany was young, her dad set up a backyard batting cage and, in the winter, an indoor net.

Talent, improved by an abundance of homework and practice, resulted in batting .375, 333,.460 and .530 in four varsity years with the Redcoats. She was a stellar-fielding shortstop. Her speed and instincts made her a dynamic asset on the base paths. A liner in the gap would be a double for many. But for her, it typically was a triple or a homer.

“I loved those night games at Sage Park,” said Labbadia, the team captain for two years. “I’d be amped up to play and enjoyed it so much.”

Labbadia, the BHS 2012 female CAS/CIAC Scholar Athlete, is the only three-time All-State and Division I collegiate player in Pires’ tenure.

A four-year starter at Yale, she led the Ivy League in steals (20), was first on her team in batting average (.265) and hits (43) in 2016 and is tied for eighth in career stolen bases (40). She also was the 2016 Andy Van Etten coaches award winner.

Labbadia today is a sales operations manager for a social media and camera company in Santa Monica, California.

And softball, of course, is still around. “I play infield in a slo-pitch league, but if we’re short on players I’ll chase down and catch some balls in the outfield,” she said. “I’ll never lose that joy of the game.”

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