SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports Special

April 10, 2013

Pingree 2013 Spring Sports Previews

BASEBALL

Last year’s record: 15-11 (Won Eastern Independent League, lost in New England semifinals)

Head coach: Chris Powers (8th season)

Captains: Nick Antenucci., Sr., 2B; Erik Larsen, Sr., SS; Travis Jacques, Sr., 1B.

Key Returnees: Tim Chaloux, Sr., 3B; Hossam Hamdan, Sr., OF; Jeff DePiero, Sr., P; Rob Van Tuyl, Jr., P; Prakirn Upadhyay, Jr., P.

Strengths: Pitching and experience. The Highlanders return three capable starters that broke out in the second half in 2012. They’re also ahead of the curve in terms of practice time because of the work done in their annual spring trip to Florida.

Concerns: Depth. Pingree has a solid 20-player core, but they’ll jam 24 games into about eight weeks including what they hope is a return trip to the New England tournament. That kind of grind will challenge the best teams, though the defending EIL champs appear to be up to the challenge.

Coach’s Outlook: “We’ve played good defense and that helps our pitchers be aggressive in attacking the strike zone. We have a ton of experience in the lineup with Erik and Nick back as three year starters and Travis having led us in RBI. We’re swinging the bats like we’re ready to go.”

SOFTBALL

Last year’s record: 9-6

Head coach: Jim MacLaughlin (23rd season)

Captains: Christina Chalmers, Jr., P; Jill Witwicki, Jr., C.

Key Returnees: Caroline Fay, Jr., 3B; Haley Sabino, Jr., SS; Kelsey Dion, So., 1B/C; Nora Sullivan, Jr., 2nd; Maria Garbarino, Jr., OF; Ali Novack, Jr., OF; Amelia Joyce, So., OF; Leah Heinze, So., OF.

Strengths: Experience, pitching and defense will help the Highlanders fare well this spring.

Concerns: The team needs a leadoff hitter and basestealer to emerge.

Coach’s Outlook: “With most of last year’s second place team returning along with the addition of a couple strong new players, we look to make a serious run at the Eastern Independent League title.”

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