, Salem, MA


May 2, 2014

Fast Pitches: Magicians don't let injury slow them down

You can tell a lot about a team by the way it handles adversity.

Put aside the wins and losses, and a club — a good club — can take anything the season brings it and use it in a way that strengthens the group.

Marblehead has been without two of its key players for over a week now; starting shortstop Olivia Vener (sprained wrist) and second baseman Emily Promise (thumb fracture). Vener is the Magicians’ leadoff batter, who has excellent speed and skill running the bases.

“Olivia sets the team tempo in the lineup,” Marblehead coach Johnny Gold said about his four-year starter. “She already holds the school record for all-time stolen bases and is second all-time in hits.”

While the Marblehead co-captain bat is missed, freshman Montana Joyce has slid into her position almost seamlessly — giving Marblehead another shot at a postseason appearance.

“Montana has been so good that we haven’t had to rush Olivia back,” noted Gold. “She’s made only one error and is hitting over 400 in the leadoff spot. She makes all the plays and has a head for the game, knowing all the situations.”

Joyce, who Gold refers to as Marblehead’s shortstop of the future, uses her small frame to her advantage and is quick to turn plays in the field.

Promise, who is expected to return today or early next week, has started at second base since her freshman year. Freshman Ashley Stiles has been called upon in her absence and has been error free in the field thus far.

The Magicians were able to get both of their games in this week without weather interfering. Although the Magicians have gone 1-4 in their last four games, they’ve seen an abundance of talented teams, including a back-to-back games against Nantucket and a 6-5 loss against a strong Peabody club.

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