SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports Special

April 9, 2014

PINGREE HIGHLANDERS SPRING SPORTS PREVIEWS 2014

BASEBALL

Last Year’s Record: 10-14

Head coach: Chris Powers (9th season)

Captains: Robert Van Tuyl, Sr., P/OF; Reece Fulmer, Sr., OF; Jeff Depiero, Jr., P/IF.

Other key players: Ryan St. Pierre, Jr., C; Connor Bandar, Jr., OF; Harry Copeland, Jr., P/OF; Griffin Beal, So., P/IF; Kevin Moyette, Jr., C; Cam Schmitt, Fr., OF/IF; Christian Kukas, Fr., OF/IF; Zack Mitchell, Fr., OF/IF

Strengths: Pitching and defense. As usual the Highlanders will focus on making as few errors in the field as possible, a strategy that’s paid big dividends over the years. A strong, deep pitching staff should help that tradition continue in 2014.

Concerns: Scoring. The Highlanders have excellent team speed and are hoping to use that to put pressure on the opposition on the basepaths. Still, they’ll need to make sure they’re having good at-bats in order to get on base in the first place. Clutch hits to drive in those runs would come in handy as well.

Coach’s Outlook: “We returned from our annual trip to Florida at 4-0. We’re excited about the pitching we got on the trip, and in the four games we only committed two errors, so we’re also excited about the solid defense.”

SOFTBALL

Last year’s record: 12-5 (EIL co-champs)

Coach: Jim MacLaughlin (24th season)

Captains: Jill Witwicki, Sr., C/3B; Christina Chalmers, Sr., P.

Key Returnees: Gabby Muniz, Sr., 3B/SS; Haley Sabino, Sr., SS/1B; Nora Sullivan, Sr., 2B; Caroline Fay, Sr., RF; Maria Garbarino, Sr., CF; Ali Novack, Sr., LF; Kelsey Dion, Jr., C/1B.

Strengths: The Highlanders bring back an experienced and senior laden lineup.

Concerns: Timely hitting is going to be essential for Pingree’s success. MacLaughlin is hope the girls will improve moving runners and bringing in runs in close games.

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