Softball Eagles loaded for another run
|WHITNEY ROBERTS is back in the pitcher’s circle for the Kennett softball team this season. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)|
April 11, 2011NORTH CONWAY — The good news for veteran Kennett softball coach Peter Ames is that he has the majority of last year's Class I runners-up team returning to the diamond this spring.
The bad news is that there is no diamond for the team to play on as the season is set to open.
"I don't know when we're going to be playing," Ames said Sunday evening. "We're probably two weeks away from our field."
The team got onto a field for the first time on Thursday as they scrimmaged at Spaulding High School in Rochester.
"It was really the only time we've been on something other than the parking lot," the Eagle coach continued. "It's been a tough year from that standpoint"
Ames figured, however, that having a veteran team returning is good if the squad can't get on a field in the early season.
"If you're not going to get on a field, it's nice to have people with a lot of experience," he said. "These girls have played quite a bit of ball."
Leading the way for the Eagles will be senior hurler Whitney Roberts, who was a dominant force on the mound last year and will be looking to return to that form this year.
"She was a pretty good pitcher last year and I'd expect she'd be a pretty good pitcher this year," Ames said.
However, Roberts will also be dealing with the fact that the pitching rubber was moved back three feet to 43 feet, something that Ames said is hard to get a feel for without being on the field.
The Eagles also have four-fifths of their entire starting infield back from last year as well.
Lauren White will return to first base, Sam Janos will be back at second base, Amber McPherson will return to shortstop and Katie Bishop will be back behind the plate.
The lone newcomer in the infield will be Jordyn Moore, who started a few games at third base last year and will be replacing Marissa Strong at the hot corner.
In the outfield, Alyssa Chick will return to center field for her fourth season, while Brie Roberts will move from right field to left field to replace Faye Roberts, who hurt her knee and will miss the entire season.
"She was a good outfielder and big bat in the middle of the order," Ames said. "That's a big loss."
Right field is the lone position where there is a battle, with Karli Olson, Maddie Graves and Sara Ansaldi all bidding for playing time.
"I'm sure everyone will get some opportunities and whoever swings the bat the best will probably play," Ames said.
Ames expects his Eagles to be in contention again this year, though he knows with Goffstown, Windham, Trinity and West all moving into Division II, things will certainly be tougher, adding to a strong field that already includes Coe-Brown, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Laconia, Hollis-Brookline and Souhegan, among others.
"It will be interesting," the veteran coach noted.
He figures that the teams in the southern part of the state will likely have an advantage the first few weeks of the season, as they have been able to get on the field and play a bit.
The Eagles' first game, originally scheduled for Monday, was postponed until April 30 due to snow in Berlin. The home opener was set for after deadline Wednesday and Ames expected that to be postponed. The Eagles are scheduled to host Plymouth on Friday, April 15, at 4:30, then head to White Mountains Regional on Monday, April 18, for a 4 p.m. game and to Kingswood on Wednesday, April 20, for a 4:15 p.m. contest.
Of course, all games are subject to change due to unfavorable field conditions. Check our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Salmon-Press-Sports-Wolfeboro/ or our Twitter page at www.twitter.com/SalmonSportsGuy for updates on schedules.