April 19 Corinth
April 22 Fort Edward
April 23 Heatly
April 24 @Lake George
April 26 Corinth
April 29 Salem
May 1 Lake George
May 3 @Warrensburg
May 6 @Whitehall
May 8 @Bolton
May 10 @Hadley/Luzerne
If the girls on the 2013 North Warren softball team need any inspiration, all they need to do is look in their school’s trophy cases and read the press clippings describing the successes of the 2012 Cougar basketball team or the 2010 North Warren Field Hockey Team.
The latter was ranked pre-season as last in the league but fought hard regardless all year long and won a league title —and then battled deep into Sectionals setting new school records. The former soared past expectations when they defeated Perennial favorite Lake George for a League division championship.
For the current North Warren softball team, coming off a 1-15 season, the challenge ahead is substantial.
Coach Jeremy Whipple, however, is yet hopeful — in the tradition of Cougar teams.
Despite the loss to graduation of infielders Nicole Parker and Kateryna Strauss and starting pitcher Charissa Cronk, the remaining players are taking on the new season with resolve.
Pitching for the team will be sophomore Taylor Olson, now one year removed from ACL surgery. Whipple said Olson has been very focused on working her way back to the mound.
“We need Taylor to throw consistent strikes,” he said.
Laura Tennyson, a senior infielder, is shifting from behind the plate to infield.
“The transition is going to be a challenge for her but we are looking for big things,” Whipple said.
Sophomore Gabriell Needham, also a pitcher, was drafted into Varsity last year, demonstrated that she was very consistent on the mound and in the field, Whipple said.
“Gabriell should be ready to contribute in a big way after a year of experience under her belt,” he said.
Megan McDonough, a senior outfielder, contributed a lot in 2012, Whipple said.
“We’re looking for Megan to play a key role in our success,” he said.
Joining these four are sophomore catcher Alexandra Newer; pitcher/infielder Gabrielle Vaisey, also a sophomore; senior outfielder Jessica Lylyk; junior outfielder Lexi Pratt, and freshman infielder Courtney Viele. They are backed up by junior fielder Desiree Smith; sophomores Julianna Dewar, outfield; Rickie-Lee Wicks, outfield, and Amanda Braynack, infield/outfield.
Whipple said he has confidence in the progress his team is making toward their goals of becoming more competitive.
“This year’s outlook is positive,” he said. “We’ve filled the gaps pretty well and are looking for some of the younger players to step up.”