BOLTON LANDING - A talented pitcher-catcher combination and an infield with strong defensive skills has prompted local sports observers to forecast a solid 2010 season for the Bolton High School Varsity Softball Team.
Anchoring the team this year is standout athlete Taylor Cronquist, the team's catcher, who is a speedy base-runner, and is known to anticipate play action well.
"Taylor's exceptional on both defense and offense," Coach Melanie Persons said. "She has a great softball sense, she keeps the infield tight and calls really good plays - she keeps everyone on the ball."
Persons said she expects a strong collaborative effort on defense for her squad to recapture their winning ways of past years. In 2007, Bolton won the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference's southern Division and competed deep into the Section VII tournament. In 2009, the Eagles were competitive at 5-8 overall.
Cronquist, a Senior, will be backed up by Senior shortstop Taylor Barrack, Persons said..
"Taylor is another exceptional player," Persons said. "She's a vacuum at short stop - she never lets anything get by her."
Among others playing key roles on defense will be Sophomore Rosie Denne at first base and Junior Emma Cady at third, replacing talented BCS graduates Amanda Moffitt and Katie Bliley, respectively.
"Emma's a solid player and Rosie's got a good stretch," Persons said.
The coach said she's also anticipating good action from Junior Charlotte Caldwell at second base. "Charlotte's always on top of things, always ready for the play," Persons said. "She's the team chatterbox and keeps the team going."
One player who the coach has few words about, is her own daughter, Tori Persons, who has lots of skill and experience, although she's merely a Sophomore.
But local sports fans know she will produce, capturing more victories this year after she's boosted her speed and accuracy from attending several pitching clinics, and gained some muscle since last year.
Persons said she indeed has high expectations of Tori.
"She's had a ton of growth since last season, and she's coming into her own now," the coach said. "Tori's confidence is through the roof - and she and Taylor now have a nice groove going."
As long as all the players concentrate on solid hitting to back up the core group of strong hitters, the team will likely do quite well this year, Persons said.
"No question, the games will be fun to watch," she said.