Softball Team Combines Youth and Experience
April 10, 2018
Of the three games that the girls softball team was to have played so far, two have been postponed because of the cold, rainy, or snowy weather.
Coach Sharon McGonnigal who is entering her 12th season as varsity softball coach is not a fan of this New England “spring” weather.
She said, “Out of the 12 years I’ve coached the varsity, the past six have started with indoor try-outs and practices. It is very difficult to get ready for the season when you can’t be outside. The first time we saw live pitching was last Thursday during our first game. That is frustrating for the girls, as well as the coaching staff.”
Despite not getting on the field for any practices, Coach McGonnigal likes the team’s work ethic and potential. “This year we will be strong defensively and at the plate.”
She also knows what they have to work on. “Our weakness is that we have new people in key positions, so it is going to take time to adjust and learn to play and communicate together.”
Of particular importance is trying to replace pitching stand-outs from last year, Erin Buckley and Ali Sammon. But it looks like a freshman might be providing a boost here as Michaela Bruno has impressed her coach as a pitcher.
“Michalea pitched her first varsity game last Thursday against PN and she did an excellent job.”
Also gone with graduation is catcher Julia DiCienzo, shortstop Maddie Olsen and outfielders Sam Lynch and Marina McCauley.
Another freshman, Macy Grass, sister of junior Molly Grass, will be handling the catching duties. A two-year veteran of the team, Molly will take over the shortstop position.
Sophomore Katie McGuirk, an all-star last year, will be at second base.
Captain Sydney McKenna will move from left field to centerfield and captain Shannon Murphy will hold down first base once again. Junior Arianna Pelletier will return at third base.
Coach McGonnigal is optimistic, saying her goal is to “continue to compete in the league and to qualify for the tournament.”
With this combination of veterans and newcomers, the team will have its ups and downs but the expectations are still high for the season.
McKenna said, “Even though we lost seven seniors from last year, we are going to be better than people expect. Our hitting looks good; we just need to execute the little things.”
The girls were scheduled to play Abington on Tuesday.
Hopefully, the weather will be cooperating from now on.
Here’s a photo gallery by Wicked Local Staff/Alyssa Stone of the girls softball team against Ply-No. on April 5.