Everything was right in place for Lynn’s Michaela Hamill to have a spectacular senior season on the mound for the 2020 Endicott College softball team.
Hamill’s junior year in 2019 had been outstanding, posting a 10-2 record and an earned run average of 1.94 while helping the Lady Gulls win the Commonwealth Coast Championship and earn a berth in the NCAA Division 3 Tournament.
Three of her performances clearly affirmed why Michaela Hamill was emerging as a bona fide star: a complete-game shutout of then No. 23-ranked Tufts in Medford; a dominating one-hit, 7-strikeout, shutout of Salem State in Salem; and a gutsy 3-2 win over Staten Island in the NCAA Tournament in New Jersey.
Hamill won her last eight games for the Gulls to improve her career record to 26-7.
Continuing the dedicated, off-season training that had characterized her career at St. Mary’s and Endicott, Hamill became a senior captain and the stage was set for the 5-foot-6-inch right-hander to lead a younger Endicott team on to the field.
But Hamill and the Gulls never got to compete on the actual field as the entire 2020 season was canceled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had two indoor scrimmages in New Hampshire before we were scheduled to go to Florida for 10 games,” said Hamill. “Our Florida trip was canceled and two days later, our conference (CCC) called off the season. I worked really hard this past off season, so it was definitely disappointing. It was very hard for the seniors because we had so much high energy to go to Florida.”
While the news was disheartening, there is another chapter to be written in the Michaela Hamill story at Endicott.
Though she has received her degree from Endicott and is officially a graduate, Hamill has begun her studies as a graduate student at Endicott and is thus eligible to return for a fourth season of college softball.
“If everything goes as planned, I’m going to play softball next year at Endicott,” said Hamill. “Coach Bettencourt has already asked me to come back.”
High honors and a senior thesis
Michaela Hamill has been an All-Conference pitcher on the field and equally brilliant in the classroom. In fact, the Dean’s List’s student was twice named to the All-Conference Academic Team.
She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Educational Studies and a minor in Psychology.
While most colleges don’t require a senior thesis, all Endicott students are required to write a senior thesis in order to graduate. The thesis represents the culmination of a student’s coursework and internship experiences. The successful completion of the senior thesis is the pinnacle of Endicott students’ tenure at the college and is a personal achievement to be celebrated.
Hamill wrote a senior thesis that was titled, “The Impact of Increasing and Developing Speech Patterns Through Various Strategies of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder.”
She completed an internship during the first semester of her senior year at the May Institute in Wilmington, a school for students with autism.
“I based my thesis on my experiences there and chose to focus on the importance of communication because a lot of the students are non-verbal so they have to use iPads or pictures to communicate,” said Hamill, who worked with students, ages 12-16. “So my thesis explored deeper in to the process of communication and what works best for each individual student.”
Hamill will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis. She will be returning to the May Institute to work in a full-time position as a teacher’s assistant.
“My goal after graduate school is to get my BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) license and continue working in the field of autism,” said Hamill.
Beginning her career In Wyoma Little League
Michaela Hamill was an ace pitcher from the start in the Wyoma Little League. Her coach was her father, Don Hamill.
“My father taught me how to pitch throughout all of Minors and I learned so much from him,” said Michaela gratefully. “He was my first coach.”
In a constant theme to her career at every level, victories piled up. The Wyoma 12-year-old All-Star Team, with Michaela on the hill, won the state championship. She led the Wyoma Diamondbacks to a City Series title.
She played in the Lynn Babe Ruth softball program and helped Lynn win the New England Regional championship. She also excelled for the New England Storm AAU team.
At St. Mary’s High School, she played three seasons for Coach Colleen Newbury and one season for Coach Paige Licata. In her sophomore year, the Spartans captured the North sectional title. She was a three-time Catholic Central League All-Star, the team MVP in her sophomore year, an Item All-Star, and a team captain.
“I loved my experience at St. Mary’s,” said Hamill, who also played varsity soccer for a North sectional championship team. “It was a lot of fun both academically and athletically. It was great to be a part of such a successful athletic program.
Hamill chose Endicott over St. Michael’s College in Vermont. “I definitely made the right choice,” she said.
The support of her parents (Don and Laurie Hamill) continued throughout her college career at Endicott. Michaela was asked how many games her parents attended during her career, including some being played on cold early spring, New England afternoons.
“My parents were at every game, home and way,” she responded. “They’re my role models. They definitely are very supportive of my softball and my academic career.”
Michaela also considers her siblings to be great role models – her sister, Meaghen Hamill, the chief of staff to Lynn Mayor Thomas McGee and a former basketball standout at Austin Prep, and her brother, Matthew, a former ice hockey and lacrosse player at Malden Catholic and a lacrosse player at the University of New Hampshire.
Praise from Endicott and St. Mary’s High School
Endicott College softball coach Katie Bettencourt lauded Hamill’s exceptional leadership and her dedication to the team.
I always refer to Michaela Hamill as “steady Eddy,” said Bettencourt. “She has been so consistent with the way she prepares and the way she performs. She understands her strengths as a pitcher and loves to compete. I admire how honest Michaela is with the coaching staff and her teammates. That is one of the many qualities that myself and her team admire.”
St. Mary’s High School Director of Athletics Jeff Newhall congratulated Hamill on her graduation from Endicott, recalling the former Lady Spartan as a popular, hard-working student and team leader. “Michaela was truly an outstanding student-athlete at St. Mary’s and I congratulate her on her academic success as an honors graduate at Endicott and being a terrific college softball player,” said Newhall. “We are all quite proud of her many collegiate accomplishments. She has been a great representative of our school.”