MHS Softball team off to full start

By Martha Marteney-Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Tue., Apr. 5, 2011
Sophomore Julie Sirois takes to the pitching mound at the first scrimmage of the season. Photos by Martha Marteney.
Sophomore Julie Sirois takes to the pitching mound at the first scrimmage of the season. Photos by Martha Marteney.

The Manchester High School softball team is off to a good start this season, with more than 60 girls trying out for the program. “One of my goals this season was to increase participation,” said coach Chris Crawford. Crawford is returning for his second season with the team.

Last year, the team ended the season with a 4-16 record. “In the first half of the season, we got pasted,” said Crawford. “In the second half, we were much more competitive. There was definitely progress made.” Part of the problem last year was emergency surgery required by an all-state player, which required all the other team members to rearrange their positions.

There was also significant turn-over last year. Two years ago, the team lost 12 seniors to graduation, leaving most positions empty. That last year’s team was mostly filled by underclassman with no experience, which created dissatisfaction within the program. Last year, the team lost six to graduation, including their catcher and shortstop, both of whom are now playing at the college-level. This year, about half the team are seniors, including Erica Bartle, Sarah Bonino, Angelica Marina, Taylor Rose, Taylor Sisson and Paige Wlochowski.

“I’m happy with the attitudes and the number of players,” said Crawford. The team captains have not yet been selected. Crawford said sophomore Julie Sirios will be their starting pitcher and junior Marissa Fenny will be the starting catcher. He has not decided on the remaining positions.

Spotlight on Players:

Sophomore Lauren Yaffa will be playing shortstop this year. She showed her experience last year as third baseman, but looks forward to getting back to her preferred position of short stop. “You get a lot of action as short stop,” said Yaffa. She also said the team has adapted well to coach Chris Crawford, and expects it to be even better this year.

“It’s hard to win the first year with a new coach,” acknowledged senior Erica Bartle, who will be in the left outfield this year. Last year, she often played center outfield, as coach Chris Crawford moved players around finding their best position. “Last year we had a lot of players, but we weren’t that serious,” said Bartle. “This year, we’ll try harder.

 


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