After losing seven starters from 2012, younger Indians will have to step up in 2013
By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times
EAST MARLBOROUGH — If the 2013 Unionville High School softball team is going to be successful, youth must be served.
With only one returning senior — Mandy Hammond — the Indians, who begin play Monday by hosting West Chester East, will need some young players to step up to equal or surpass last season’s 10-10 record.
After losing six seniors from last season — and one player’s family moved out of the district — this year’s team will be much younger. But a lot of potential for success remains.
Indians coach Janelle Hadly, in her second year since returning to run the program — she coached three years earlier — said she will likely be depending on a total of eight sophomores and one freshman getting regular playing time. With so few players coming back with varsity experience, the early season contests could feature something of a learning curve.
“With having so many sophomores, we need experience playing at the varsity level,” Hadly said. “We have the talent and the work ethic so we are looking forward to a season with a lot of growth.”
The good news is that the players returning with experience are good ones — Hammond has already committed to continuing her career at Millersville University, while juniors (P-OF-1B) Amy Large and catcher Kate Mims were key players in 2012. Madi Ross, while one of the eight sophomores likely to be in the lineup, saw a lot of time in 2012 as a freshman.
Sophomores Austin Langerhans (P-INF) — younger sister of varsity baseball catcher Kyle Langerhans, Elise Rocconi (P-INF), Tori Hojnacki (OF) and two juniors Jilly Malone (OF) and Meredith Kurey (INF) will be depended upon to fill out the day-to-day lineup.
While they don’t have much in the way of varsity experience, all have played at a high level and Hadly is confident that they will be able to make the transition this season.
“The strength of the team is that a lot of them play year round softball on very competitive teams,” Hadly said.
The unknown is how these young players adapt and grow as the season goes on. Still Hadly says she is confident that the Indians will field a competitive team in 2013.
“We still have some strong leaders returning and many talented sophomores who will be making an impact on the field,” she said.