SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 9, 2014

PINGREE HIGHLANDERS SPRING SPORTS PREVIEWS 2014


The Salem News

---- — 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.

Coach’s Outlook: “With the majority of last year’s roster returning we certainly should be in good position to compete for another league title. I think this year’s seniors would like to win the championship outright for the their final season.”

BOYS LACROSSE

Last year’s record: 8-6

Head coach: Kevin Tersolo (3rd season)

Captains: Alex Salalayko, Sr. D; Brandon Franco, Sr. M; Chris Usseglio, Sr. G.

Key Returnees: Carter Rossano, Jr. A; Maxx Trotsky, So. A; Arjen Steegstra, So. M; Sam Ober, So. A; Tom Zaleski, So. D; Ryan Lovell, So. LSM.

Strengths: Strong sophomore class and promising freshman transfer goalie Conor White. Tersolo feels the experienced leaders mix well with the Highlanders’ young talent.

Concerns: A lack of depth.

Coach’s Outlook: “To make a competitive run at the Eastern Independent League and New England Championships.”

GIRLS LACROSSE

Last year’s record: 12-5

Head coach: Sam Taylor (2nd season)

Captains: Monica Manning, Sr. D; Blair Kaneb, Sr. A; Eliza Mead, Sr. A; Olivia Byrne, Sr. A.

Key Returnees: Mollie Smith, So. M; Kirby Heffrin, So. A; Cassidy Assad, So. M; Emma Whalen, Jr. A.

Strengths: Leadership. The Highlanders may be playing some younger players this spring, but it shouldn’t be a problem because of the excellent senior leadership surrounding them.

Concerns: The strength of the Eastern Independent League. Taylor feels the league is getting stronger every year and staying at the top will be difficult.

Coach’s Outlook: “I am excited for the 2014 season! Although it is hard to replace the eight seniors who graduated last year, I am confident that the newcomers (8 freshmen, 1 sophomore) are going to make an impact on the program immediately. Having coached the majority of the senior class for most of their lacrosse lives, I am confident that their leadership abilities on and off the field will take the Pingree lacrosse program to new heights.”

BOYS TENNIS

Last year’s record: 4-8

Head coach: Jon Gistis (1st season)

Captains: Dan Peters, Jr., first singles; Gabe Salter, Jr., first doubles.

Returnees: Jeremy Wiles, Jr., second singles; Jack Fantini, Jr., first doubles.

Coach’s Outlook: “I feel our team is going to be a tough team to play against. We’re returning six of our seven starters, giving us a deep lineup from top to bottom.”