Thursday April 11, 2013 | By:Michael J. Petro | Sports
Carly Nasca steps into the pitching circle for a young Eden team this season. (Photo courtesy of David Eckhardt)
Almost an entire starting infield and a pitcher and catcher battery have graduated, yet second-year Eden head coach Marisa Fallacaro remains optimistic about her team’s chances this season.
While they may have lost much from a group that led Eden to consecutive Class B semifinal appearances, Fallacaro said it looks as though her team has not missed a beat from last year.
Eden may be a young team, but it’s also deep with an array of players having the ability to play multiple positions. The key for her players will be learning to play at this level and not letting inevitable youthful lapses snowball, according to Fallacaro.
“This year’s team is very eager and talented,” said Fallacaro, also the school’s athletics director and basketball coach. “It’s hard to name a starting lineup yet because of our depth. I honestly think I have two qualified starters at each position.”
The Raiders go from a large senior class to one with only three upperclassmen. Courtney Cross will be the only senior infielder as she moves to shortstop, while fellow uppeclassmen Jocelyn Armbruster and Cassidy Genco will both play in the outfield.
“The seniors have done a great job of leading the team in practices and helping us to jell and I think we are ready to go,” Fallacaro said.
Eden will be looking to replace an outstanding infield from last year, which included the likes of Bri Boncal at first, Jenna Phillips at short and Tori Schreiner at third and the battery of Alexis Nasca and Amanda Yuhas.
Attempting to fill many of those roles will be a combination of sophomores Carly Nasca and Lauren Gugino and freshman Jill Murray in the pitching circle, Sabrina Kraska behind the plate, sophomore Kelly Staub at first, sophomore Liz Karstedt and junior Abby Waldorf at second and freshman Haley Kobie and junior Melissa Brockman at third.
Carly Nasca, the younger sister of Alexis, who’s now pitching at Oswego State, is one of the few underclassmen to have played a great deal last season. Sharing time in the outfield will be junior Jenny Morrow, along with Gugino, Armbruster and Genco.
Fallacaro said playing time may be determined by how much offense each player can provide.
She believes that with Class B and ECIC IV champion Cleveland Hill losing some of its top players as well, along with Lackawanna graduating the bulk of their leadership, Eden can in fact still be a player at the end of the season.
“I love our chances,” Fallacaro said. “We are young, so we know errors will happen and we are trying to prepare the girls for that.”