South Burlington’s Brianna Belisle isn’t just a Wolf anymore. Another year and she’ll be a Hawk.
The senior has verbally committed to play Division II college softball at St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire next fall.
“I am very excited about it,” Belisle said. “Hopefully in the future, more people from South Burlington will try and pursue that dream.”
Belisle joins a St. Anselm team that is on the rise. In 2019, the Hawks finished with the second-most victories in program history and set team records in shutouts and strikeouts. St. Anselm lost in the Division II national championship in 2018, making it a program to watch.
“I love the coach,” Belisle said of when asked what attracted her to the Manchester, N.H., school. “She has really brought the team to where they are now, what she has done the last couple of years is really impressive.”
Jill Gagnon is the winningest coach in the program’s history, entering her seventh season at the helm of the St. Anselm softball team in 2020, according to the schools athletics website.
Winners of the 2018 NCAA Division II East Region Championship, Gagnon guided the Hawks to its first-ever appearance in the 2018 NCAA Division II Softball Championship and finished as the runner-up.
Since taking charge of the program in 2014, Gagnon has led the Hawks to five appearances in the Northeast-10 Conference postseason and guided the team to its first-ever league championship in 2019, the website said.
Belisle has been a force at the plate for the Wolves in her three years with the team. She finished last year with a .609 batting average and a .719 on-base percentage. Entering her senior season, she has a career batting average of .549 and a .683 career on-base percentage.
“It’s just a lot of fun playing the game,” Belisle said. It is something that I want to pursue for as long as possible. It’s been a fun adventure.”
Belisle will continue that adventure for one more season for South Burlington, with the high school softball season set for next spring. Belisle hopes the Wolves can take another step forward this season.
“The goal is to try and bring home the trophy,” Belisle said. “I think we can do it, we have a really good team this year. I want us to go out knowing we did our best.”
While Belisle still has South Burlington in mind, she is happy to know that she has a future in college softball.
“I am really looking forward to the experience, getting to travel around and play other teams, to compete and just winning games.” Belisle said. “Not everyone gets to experience that, it’s a once in a lifetime chance.”