PC Softball Opens Season Today
Led by first-year coach Lynsey Manki, the Pinecrest softball team opens the season this afternoon with a 5 p.m. home game against North Moore.
Manki will be relying heavily on the squad’s four players who have previous varsity experience. Senior outfielder Lizzie Smith is back for her fourth year after receiving all-conference recognition last season. First baseman Lindsay Parkin and shortstop Olivia Cioccalanti are juniors who wield big bats and earned all-conference honors in each of their first two years. Left-handed hitter Destani Baker is another junior returnee slated to play second base.
“We’re looking for them to be leaders because we have a young team with a lot of freshmen,” Manki said before a practice earlier this week.
Rounding out the infield, freshman Rae Nunez is expected to get the call at third base. Freshman pitcher Bobbie McDaniel and junior catcher Channing Cooper will probably make up the opening day battery.
“I expect our infield to be really good because basically most of our returning players are in the infield,” the coach said.
Joining Smith in the outfield is a group that includes juniors Amber Huff, Brianna Leija and Leslie Saunders, and freshmen Devin Lally, Kaylin Fipps and Jerika Freeman.
The Patriots finished fourth out of eight teams in the Mid-Southeastern Conference in 2009 with a 7-7 record and earned a playoff berth. With the same nucleus of talent last year, they dropped to fifth in the six-team Southeastern Conference with a 4-6 mark (10-13 overall).
Without enough players to field a jayvee team, the Patriot varsity players should benefit from the close attention provided by a coaching staff made up of former college players in Manki (Kalamazoo College and Central Michigan), Jessica Kinsey (Lees McRae) and Ashley Taylor (Northwestern Oklahoma).
“They’re showing improvement every day and that’s a plus,” Manki said. “I think by the middle of the season we’ll be a pretty solid team.”
Contact Charlie Bergmann at firstname.lastname@example.org
Schedule – Mar. 4 North Moore; 8 at Union Pines; 9 Southern Lee; 15 Hoke; 16 Jordan Matthews; 23 Jack Britt; 25 at Purnell Swett; 29 at Richmond; Apr. 2 at North Moore Mustang Classic; 5 at Jack Britt; 8 at Lumberton; 12 at Scotland; 15 Purnell Swett; 19 Richmond; 26 Union Pines; 27 at Southern Lee; 29 at Hoke; May 2 at Jordan Matthews; 3 Lumberton; 5 Scotland; 9-12 Conference tournament.
More like this story