SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports Special

April 9, 2014

Salem softball looking to build off veteran experience in 2014

The Salem High softball team is putting the majority of last season behind them — but keeping its season ending back-to-back wins fresh in their minds.

The Witches finished 5-15 a year ago and missed out on an opportunity to play in the postseason for the second season in a row.

“We’re looking forward to beginning with a clean slate,” said two-time Salem News all-star Desiree Martin of the Witches. “Although we had a losing record last year, we ended (strong) and hope to pick up where we left off.”

Martin, a junior shortstop, is one of several returning players who will be back in the starting lineup. Salem will also look to senior captains Joanna Coleman and Hannah Wilkins to provide veteran leadership and varsity-level experience for some of the younger girls who are new to the team.

“Because our team is made up by primarily upperclassmen, most of us have been playing together for two or more years,” added Martin. “We’re all very used to each other and the way we play.”

Newly appointed head coach Jennifer Bertone, who recently took over for her father Dan (who spent 10 seasons coaching the Witches), is excited about what her first season has to offer.

“I’ve always wanted to be a head coach of a program,” said Jennifer Bertone, who played high school softball at Salem High. “I’m looking forward to the potential that these girls have. It was very fun being an assistant coach; now I’m excited about being head coach and seeing what type of success we can have this year.”

After seeing spot duty on the mound a year ago, Meagan Zipper will take over as Salem’s starting pitcher this season. Bertone also has a couple of different options for backup pitching.

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