Thursday April 11, 2013 | By:Michael J. Petro | Sports
Olivia Nappo makes a quick throw after fielding a ground ball, while pitcher Heather Nye (right) looks on. Both return this season to help Frontier.
Debby Schruefer is well aware of the fierce competition that awaits Frontier from ECIC Division I each season.
The Falcons will try to combat that by returning eight players from its team last year which finished 5-7 in ECIC I and saw its season end in the pre-quarterfinal round of Class AA.
The varsity head coach has her players working on the finer points of the game to try to improve for this season.
“The team is working diligently on perfecting the little things,” she said, despite being inside for most of the preseason. “They know that the competition is fierce, so they’re working on focusing and pushing one another each day in practice.”
Frontier will return both of its young pitchers from last season with junior captain Heather Nye taking the reins of a staff along with sophomore Olivia Nappo.
Returning to the infield will be senior Jill Fleming, who will be joined by juniors Kelsi Ebert, Lauren Gawalak, Melissa Woods and sophomores Courtney Courtade and Alexis Simmons.
Taking over the catching duties will be the combination of senior captain Sarag Cuillo and sophomore Marissa Dimitroff.
Leading the outfield are the Lipka sisters, Caisey and Kaitlyn, a pair of juniors who come off solid basketball seasons. They’ll be joined out there by another sister duo, in senior Hannah Booth and first-year varsity player Abby Booth, along with junior Lauren Pixley.
Among the six seniors the Falcons lost to graduation, pitcher Sara Moretta, second baseman Kim Lotecki and outfielder Courtney Lipka were all second team division all-stars.
If the division wasn’t already tough enough with defending Class AA state champion Clarence, along with the likes of Lancaster, Williamsville North and Orchard Park, now teams like Frontier will also have to play twice against Hamburg.
The Bulldogs moved up from ECIC II after winning their division and making it all the way to the state semifinals last year.