Softball preview: Younger players must step up

FI-softballThe Weston High varsity softball team will count on just about everyone to step up as a player as it prepares to start the 2013 season.

With only 17 players in the program (which includes varsity and JV) the Trojans will be small in terms of numbers. Not too many have a lot of playing time as the varsity level.

“We have a very young, inexperienced team,” said seventh-year head coach Dave Lustberg, whose team started practice last week.

Between wet field conditions and a little bit of snow the Trojans had four days of indoor practice  last week. Still waiting to get out on the field, they have several scrimmages lined up before their first official game.

On the plus side the Trojans have been able to use the batting cage in the school gym. Once they get outside they will be able to work more extensively on their fielding.

They have to work on finding a few fielders as well. The Trojans graduated eight players from last season’s team, which went 5-15 overall and 4-11 in the South-West Conference. Many were starters.

Four were former captain Kaidy Wollman, Lianna Hursh, Kelsey Sacane and Sofia Santacaterina. An All-State and All-South-West Conference selection, Wollman played second base and led the team in hitting with a .475 average.

Hursh played first base and led the team in triples with three. Sacane played second base and pitched a few games while Santacaterina was in the outfield.

Weston also graduated infielder Sami Briggs and pitcher Jordan Dunn. Outfielders Morgan Folger and Erika Wollman have also graduated.

Kat Fisher, Weston’s main pitcher last year and an All-Patriot Division selection, did not come out for the team.

The Trojans will be a much younger team this year with only three seniors. Two are captains Stacy Goldstein and Devon Brostoff. The former is back as starting catcher and the latter will move from designated hitter to first base.

Back at second base is Emily Goldberg. New to the team is Kaitlyn Dalrymple, a transfer student from Lauralton Hall, who seems to be an excellent hitter according to Lustberg.

From the junior class is captain Shelby Merberg, who will be starting at shortstop. Back in center field is classmate Natalie Hassett.

At third base Weston has Rachel Spencer, who played mostly JV last season before moving up to the varsity for the last three games.

Weston’s main pitcher this season will be sophomore Olivia Tartaglia, who played JV last season.

“Her control is very good,” said Lustberg. “She worked hard over the winter.”

Classmate Julia Rogers also played JV last season and will find a spot in the outfield and will also be Weston’s lead-off hitter. Also up from the JV team are Becca Marks and Caroline, candidates for second base and right field respectively.

A couple of freshmen could also see varsity time. Lucy Chestler and Emily Abrams have travel softball experience.

Even with a young team the Trojans will try to win enough games to qualify for the state Class M tournament. They open the season on April 3 when they host Abbott Tech.

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