Spring sports preview: Putnam High School softball
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Putnam - posted Tue., Mar. 27, 2012
The Putnam Clippers softball team practiced outdoors during the first week of tryouts March 19-23. Under unseasonably warm skies, head coach Rick Konieczny and assistant coach Kari Dalia worked the squad, testing their mettle on everything from grounders to fly balls, base-running to pitching drills. The Clippers will need all the practice time they can get, as they are a bare bones squad this season. Twelve players are currently on the roster, unless Konieczny and Dalia can attract more students.
This is Konieczny's second year with Putnam, and his first as head coach. It is Dalia's first year as assistant coach in Putnam.
Seniors Megan Heaney and Holly Desrosiers head up the talent for Putnam. Heaney will see action at short stop and Desrosiers will anchor the team behind the plate, where she has been formidable in the past. Ashley Espinosa, who comes off a stellar basketball season, will start at first base in her first year of playing softball. Konieczny will expect a lot from all three of them.
The Clippers will be without the help of three veterans from last year: an injury, a job and a transfer took them away from the team. “Those are three good sticks that we lost,” Konieczny said.
He is still shuffling players around, trying to find the right positions and batting order for everyone. “We've done running drills. Some kids have speed and others don't. It's a mixed bag, like usual,” he said. Five of 12 players have experience from last year. Caitlyn Verrette, who played in the outfield last year, may move over to third base. Erica Anderson will do some pitching. The rest of his players are newcomers.
“I think if we can get them in shape, we'll do fine,” Konieczny said. “The whole key is pitching. We have to get the ball over the plate. We should be strong on the left side of the infield at short stop and third.” He expects the top of his batting order to do pretty well against league pitchers.
The Clippers (CSC) open up against St. Bernard (ECC-Small) on April 4 in what Konieczny predicts will be a tough game. “It's an independent game,” he said. “That's the way they made the schedule.”