St. Clair Shores, Warren
Shores resident and former Warren Regina softball player, Brugnoni, transitions to collegiate athletics
By Mark Vest
June 25, 2014
Although the transition from high school to collegiate athletics can be difficult, former Warren Regina softball player Monica Brugnoni, who went on to play for Albion College, seems to have adjusted well.
Brugnoni ended her freshman season with a .293 a batting average (second on the team), 11 RBIs (which tied her for most on the team) and three doubles.
Brugnoni, whose hometown is St. Clair Shores, credits her time at Regina for helping to prepare her to play at Albion, which competes at the NCAA Division III level. She indicated that it was her sophomore season at Regina when she realized there may be a future opportunity to take her game to the college level.
So far, it seems to be an opportunity that was worth waiting for.
“It’s been super exciting,” she said. “I think I was really prepared from Regina. … I really have enjoyed it — it’s been a lot of fun. I’m just happy to be playing while I can go to school. I think it’s an awesome experience and a pleasure to be able to play while I’m in college.”
While athletes earn the opportunity to play at the collegiate level due to individual accomplishments, there is typically more to the story than that. Like so many other athletes, Brugnoni, who played third base and pitched for Albion her freshman season, has received strong support along the way.
“Both my brothers played college baseball,” said Brugnoni, who cited friendships she made at Regina as some of her favorite high school memories. “I’ve had great support. My dad knows a ton about baseball. He’s like, ‘relax at the plate. Don’t worry so much.’ And then my mom is there for moral support. … So, having my brothers there to follow in their footsteps, basically, is awesome. And then having my parents — just a whole family moral support — they’re awesome.”
In regards to support she has received from coaches, Brugnoni referred to Regina head softball coach Diane Laffey and assistant coach Jack Dailey as “role models,” along with acknowledging support she has received from her coach at Albion, Christina Finch.
Aside from having a strong support system, Brugnoni cited other keys that have allowed her to come as far as she has.
“I think being humble and staying within yourself,” she said. “In college, not looking at my numbers so much at the plate; just relaxing, trusting in my hands, letting the ball come in and hit the ball. Also, fielding averages. Seeing every pitch, realizing that every play counts, and one error can really mess up a whole game.”
Brugnoni is in the pre-med program at Albion and is majoring in biology, with a double minor in religious studies and chemistry. A career in the medical profession may await her, and as excited as she may be for her remaining eligibility as a student-athlete at Albion, she has also given some thought to that potential opportunity.
“I thank God every day for all the opportunities that I’ve had in my life,” she said. “I owe it to my parents for being able to support me along the way and giving me the education that I’ve had. We’ll have to see where I go, but I’m really excited. I’m extremely into science, so we’ll have to see where that takes me. I’ll be happy with where I end up; I know I will because God will be with me, and my family will be there to support me.”
About the author
Mark Vest is on the sports beat at C&G Newspapers. He covers high school sports for the Fraser-Clinton Chronicle and Grosse Pointe Times. In the past couple years or so, he has also began to cover collegiate sports for schools such as the University of Detroit Mercy, Oakland University, Wayne State University, Macomb Community College and Oakland Community College. Vest has worked at C&G Newspapers since 2011 and attended Oakland University and Oakland Community College.
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