FAIRFIELD — Between the winter state tournaments abruptly ending and the spring season’s cancellation last year, few players were effected as much as MacQuarrie Stone-Folmar.
Stone-Folmar had led No. 1 Notre Dame-Fairfield girls’ basketball team in the SWC championship game in 2019 with a team leading 18 points. Two weeks later, the Class L favorites were informed the state tournament was over mid-way through.
A few weeks later another blow was dealt as Stone-Folmar’s primary sport, softball, was called off before it began as the COVID-19 pandemic began unfolding.
“She was the one I really felt for the most when all of that happened,” Notre Dame-Fairfield basketball coach Maria Conlon said. “She was missing out on so much, and I see her work in the offseason and at practice. You want kids like that to have an opportunity to play in that last game. I couldn’t be more excited for her to potentially have that opportunity this year with softball.”
Fast-forward to spring 2021, and Stone-Folmar is putting together just about the most successful senior year she could hope for.
Though she never got a shot at a basketball state championship, senior guard and captain Stone-Folmar and No. 2 Notre Dame-Fairfield cruised to a second consecutive SWC title with a 12-1 record.
“I couldn’t be any luckier,” Stone-Folmar said. “With what we did and what we had, we made the most of it. We got SWCs and we took full advantage, now for softball hopefully we can come out on top again.”
Success has followed her into the spring season. Leading off and playing shortstop, she is hitting over .700 with 10 home runs, 31 RBIs and 22 runs scored per Maxpreps, leading Notre Dame to a 10-1 record with six games remaining.
“It has been awesome to be back on the field,” Stone-Folmar said. “I am really excited the way we’ve started. I thought we would play like this, and maybe some people underestimated us but it has been nice to be able to go to work.”
The work has never stopped for Stone-Folmar, even after a sophomore season in which she hit .526 with 20 home runs and 56 RBIs, somehow she is outperforming herself.
“She is a very good hitter, some of the balls she hits would be out of Yellowstone,” Notre Dame softball coach Jeff Bevino said. “She is a tremendous athlete and she plays the game the right way. She’s the real deal, I feel fortunate to be able to coach someone as good as she is.”
Softball clearly became Stone-Folmar’s standout sport after her sophomore year, leading her to an eventual commitment to Barry University of Miami, Florida to play Division II softball.
While it may not have always been clear what Stone-Folmar’s primary sport would be, much of her love for softball stemmed from her mother Heather Stone, who is currently in her 15th season as the WestConn softball coach.
“I wasn’t sure which sport she was going to end up choosing to play at the next level. I didn’t want to push her either way, but she was always surrounded by college softball,” Stone said. “She loved being around my team, she wanted to be at the practices and she has kind of grown up around it.”
Collegiate athletics are deeply interconnected within the family, going beyond just WestConn softball.
“She has two uncles who coach college baseball, her dad college coaches football,” Stone said. “Athletics in general, she has just been surrounded by it.”
Stone-Fomar’s ties to sports have always influenced her, as she played little league baseball through her 12-year-old season before switching to softball, and even played middle school football.
“She played football in middle school,” Stone said. “At Rumsey Hall, she was the first girl ever to play. She was a quarterback and she threw a touchdown pass in eighth grade.”
After ninth grade, it was time for the Brookfield native to find a new school, and with her mother’s connections, Notre Dame became a clear choice.
“I knew coach Bevino through recruiting from when I was at Foran,” Stone said. “There was a connection level there for sure, and a comfort level that she was in good hands.”
“I think my favorite part about Mac is that she is just an amazing all-around athlete,” Conlon said. “I think that a lot of that comes from her grit, competitiveness and leadership skills.”
Stone-Folmar’s impact in both sports has never been limited to between the lines or on the court, but in the locker room as well.
“Beyond being a great hitter and a great player, MacQuarrie is a special leader,” Bevino said. “She is a leader for our younger kids who are having a success, in part because they look up to her. She has welcomed them in like seniors, and we have a great team chemistry that she’s in charge of.”
That mentality has been integral for a team which has relied on freshman pitcher Judy Traczali in every game.
“It is hard to come in as a freshman, there is a lot of pressure there,” Stone-Folmar said. “She has been great and she has the support from us seniors and I think that goes a long way.”
Carrying over her senior captain duties from basketball to softball, Stone-Folmar has boosted a Notre Dame-Fairfield team that has climbed to No. 8 in the GameTimeCT Poll, and may be rising still.
She knows that she not only has a chance of claiming her second SWC title of the year, but just maybe that elusive state title as well.
Notre Dame’s biggest SWC obstacle is No. 1 Masuk, which handed the Lancers its only loss in a 2-1 pitchers’ duel on Monday.
“We showed them we can hang with them, and we are going to be back,” Stone-Folmar said. “We will see them again and I can’t wait to go to battle again, it was a fun time.”
Notre Dame looks like the early favorite in the Class S softball tournament, giving Stone-Folmar an opportunity to round out a near-perfect senior year before continuing her softball career at Barry University.
“She is the kind of kid that is a coach’s dream,” Conlon said. “She is one of the hardest workers in practice, and she will probably go down as one of my favorite kids to coach because she makes it so easy and fun.”