Softball: Davenport Division Preview 2016

Davenport softball
Junior pitcher Ali Atherton and Milford enter the spring with expectations of repeating as Davenport division champs. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

CANTON
2015 Record: 2-18
2015 Finish: Missed Playoffs
Coach: Tracy Andrews

Canton reached the postseason two seasons ago, despite only recording four wins, and this year’s crop of Bulldogs will be hoping to replicate that experience by getting the program back to the postseason. With senior lefty Sarah Reissfelder back in the circle, Canton has an experienced pitcher to rely on this spring and a power bat in the middle of the order.

Senior captains Gabby Matthews, Colleen Phelan, and Kaitlin McCarthy will also provide some pop, while sophomore Hannah Jerrier is hoping to carry over her success from the basketball court to the softball diamond. Taylor Carrington (third base) and Lillian Carrington (centerfield) will also be players to watch as the Bulldogs fight for a spot in the Div. 2 tournament under head coach Tracy Andrews.

FOXBORO
2015 Record: 9-12
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South preliminary round
Coach: Mark Maguire

Despite being below .500 again last season, Foxboro continued to improve its win total from the year before, going from six to seven to nine over the past three years, and clinching its fourth straight trip to the state tournament. Head coach Mark Maguire expects that a fifth trip will be in the cards for the Warriors again this spring but he is also setting his sights on challenging Oliver Ames and Milford at the top of the league standings.

Senior Jenna Weinstein is back in the circle for the Warriors and will be the primary starting pitcher, but Foxboro also has depth at pitching and that can make a big difference over the course of the season. Freshmen Camyrn Willis and Emma Rohan will be developed as pitchers of the future.

 

Weinstein will also be one of the Warriors’ top bats this season along with sophomore Hannah Davis, who is moving behind the plate to replace league all-star Bri Stern after a season at shortstop. Mary Lou Long will take over at short and Kelly Fisher will be at first base and batting cleanup, while senior Carolynn Will continues in center and has been a three-sport captain (soccer and basketball).

“We expect to compete for the Davenport division as long as our pitching comes along,” said Maguire. “We expect to make the playoffs and challenge for the league…and the girls are ready to go.”

MILFORD
2015 Record: 19-4
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South quarterfinal
Coach: Steve DiVitto

Milford enters the season with the potential to win a fourth straight league title and challenging the top teams in the Div. 1 South. Senior shortstop Jill Powers and catcher Meg Jacques will provide leadership for an experienced and still young roster that features sophomore infielder Emily Piergustavo, who is already getting Div. I college interest.

In the circle, junior Ali Atherton returns for a third year and she showed last year that she can compete with the best, as evidenced by her regular season win over South champ Silver Lake. Junior Maggie Farrell will add a lot of pop to the lineup and sophomore Jess Tomasso has transferred in from Hopedale and could make an instant impact in the middle of the order. Sophomore Kate Irwin will step in to fill an outfield role and freshman Emily Hartman will be used at multiple positions this year.

Milford coach Steve DiVitto said, “They are motivated to continue to exceed others expectations and truly believe they can compete with the best of the Hock and state. They have set the bar high-and have worked tirelessly in the off-season to strive and reach those goals.”

OLIVER AMES
2015 Record: 11-11
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South first round
Coach: Lindsey Allison

Oliver Ames finished behind Milford in the Davenport last year, but pulled an upset over league rival Mansfield to advance to the first round of the state tournament to face eventual South champ Silver Lake. The Tigers will be hoping to challenge the Hawks again this spring and make a run at the league title.

Spearheading the offensive attack for OA will be senior Jamie Gottwald, who led the Tigers with a .449 battling average and three homers last year. Classmate Katie Pursley will also be back after hitting .389 last year and fellow senior Missy Krim will bring experience to the outfield. Caroline Mahoney hit .352 last season and the sophomore return at third base, while junior Victoria Ziner has been off to a strong start at shortstop this preseason.

One of the biggest changes for the Tigers will be in the circle where freshman Kayla Georgeu will be the starter with sophomore Alexis Campbell will help out as a pitcher and second baseman. Head coach Lindsey Allison said, “There are still some puzzle pieces we are working on to finalize positions being filled from graduating seven last year…We are definitely looking to play .500 ball and make tournament again this year.”

SHARON
2015 Record: 3-16
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Deb Parker

Sharon will look to build on last season and while the Eagles may not be challenging for the league title this season they will be hoping that the mix of experienced starters and talented underclassmen can make a push towards the postseason.

Sharon will be aided by experienced pitching, as junior Clara Cook will be the starter for the third season in a row and her battery-mate is senior Rachel Ulsen, a two-time Hockomock all-star. Senior Jenna Kranseler will be back at first base and junior Sam Marglous will be at shortstop. Head coach Deb Parker will also be counting on versatile freshmen Allison Small and Rebecca Clayman.

Parker said, “Both play a variety of positions so we will spend the next few days figuring out where they will help us the most.”

STOUGHTON
2015 Record: 7-13
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Tim Norton

After many years in charge of Stoughton softball, Janet Sullivan has stepped down and first-year head coach Tim Norton has taken over. Norton inherits a team that has lost nine seniors from last year and has as many as eight starters playing new positions this season.

Sam Tullis will be behind the plate this year and the Black Knights will also return seniors Courtney Campbell, Nicole Bodette and Shannon Flaherty. Freshman Karly Estramera will be a player to watch, according to Norton, and may be the starting centerfielder.

Norton said, “Even with the high degree of turnover this year I think the tournament isn’t out of the question.  We have a very solid core of young talented players and if they play up to their potential it could propel us back into the tournament.”

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Ryan Lanigan

Ryan Lanigan is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of HockomockSports.com. You can contact him at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and follow him on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
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