Three weeks following her surgery, Ericson began light physical therapy, and after six weeks, the therapy increased in intensity with the addition of weights. Six months later, she was allowed to run again. A month after that, the now Andover High senior had the chance to compete again, albeit in a fun exhibition.
“I got to play in the Powder Puff football game,” she said with a laugh. “That was a huge milestone that I could compete again. I had to be very careful, but it was great.”
But it was softball that was her true goal, and she began easing herself back into the sport at clinics. Finally, when the Andover High season kicked off, Ericson was back on the diamond.
“I’m not sure there is anyone around that worked as hard as Nicole did to be ready for this season,” Tisbert said. “She would be out there doing hitting drills on one leg.
“Watching her play the first game, I was smiling ear to ear. The ball was just flying off of her bat. If we were playing at home, I think one would have been a home run.”
Ericson now hopes to put together one last memorable season before heading off to play college softball.
“I can’t even explain how happy I am to be out there with my teammates,” she said. “They mean everything to me. I feel like we have a very good team and I think we can win some games and have fun.”
Her fellow tri-captains agree this could be a special season.
“I am really pleased with how we are playing,” McNaughton said. “I think that we have a lot of talent, and we have a very strong defense. We are versatile and I think we believe in each other.”