Thursday April 11, 2013 | By:Michael J. Petro | Sports
Returning sophomore Darian Evans is pictured here playing in an underclassmen showcase over the summer. (Photo by Michael J. Petro)
Despite having only two seniors returning from a 2-17 campaign, Lake Shore second-year head coach Jeff Ziobro believes his team will be no pushover.
Actually, there is varsity experience on this team. It’s just lies with many of the underclassmen coming back after getting their shot to play and learn from experiences during last season.
Lake Shore returns six players, its two seniors occupying infield spots up the middle and a pair of sophomore captains leading a strong contingent of youngsters.
“Although this year’s team is full of youth, the expectations for the team as well as the program look bright,” Ziobro said. “We expect to be more than just competitive in our division; we expect to turn some heads and be noticed.”
Senior captain Hayley Hammer will return to second base after earning all-division second team honors and classmate Alexis Cvetanovich will go from starting in centerfield to playing shortstop. Hammer should also provide a spark at the top of the lineup.
Jessica Ackley, a sophomore captain, returns to the mound where she became the team’s ace last season and looks for more consistency in 2013. “We will go as far as our pitching takes us and we all believe that Jessica is up to the challenge,” Ziobro noted.
Also in the captain role, sophomore Darian Evans will make the shift from short to center, which Ziobro believes makes the team better in the outfield. Ziobro said Evans has a big arm that will make runners think twice about taking an extra base.
Other underclassmen returning include third-year varsity freshman Machala Andrews, a left-handed smart player who will start at first base, and junior Macey West, who gets the nod in left field.
The Eagles welcome in freshman transfer Emma Franco, who should see time at third base and develop into a force at the plate. Franco has been a positive example with her work ethic. “From the moment she stepped into the gym, she fit right in with the team,” Ziobro noted.
Another freshman, Allison Flores will play out in right field and also give Lake Shore some innings on the mound. Eighth-grader Jordan Scholl makes her varsity debut as the team’s starting catcher after spending last season improving both offensively and behind the plate with the JV.
Rounding out the roster will be juniors Bianca Bonnett and Megan Scritchfield and sophomore Ashley Fix, all of whom are expected to contribute with their versatility.
Although division champion Hamburg moves up to ECIC I, Lake Shore should still have its hands full playing a tough ECIC II schedule. The smallest team in the division, the Eagles will take on the likes of perennially-strong Williamsville East and South teams, along with last year’s second-place team Iroquois and an established West Seneca East squad.