Even with a couple of holes to fill, the Foxborough Higj softball team is showing talent in places where is was not before. With a team of half returners and half freshmen and JV call ups, head coach Lauren Cucinotta has been impressed with what she has seen early on.
“Even the younger players coming in you see them a little bit above the levels we were at before,” Cucinotta said.
Going away from the bunt and run that dominated the team’s offense last season, improved hitting has allowed the Warriors to do a little more at the plate with less emphasis on small ball.
“We’ll probably do a mixture, we got a lot of good hitters this year,” Cucinotta said. “We do have a few bunters, but we’re focusing on hitting a lot more this year.”
Part of the challenge for this team is going to be how to fill the gap left in the middle infield because of shortstop Julia Robichaud and second baseman Chelsea Laracy graduating. Erin Pearson who spend time in left field last season will move over to second base while Brianna Goold will play shortstop.
The duo of junior Brenna Connoly and Ari Zanecchia return to once again take pitching duties. When off the mound Connoly is expect to play first base, while Zanecchia will play third base. Catching for Connoly and Zanecchia will be retuning captain Jess Septelka.
In the outfield, senior captain Shannon Suss will likely split time between right field and first base. Eva Mazzoni will be out in center field and is expected to be one of the best defensive players and batters for the Warriors.
Joining the team will be three new freshmen in Michaela Gally, Katherine Keller and Brianna Stern. Gally is expected to play catcher and third base and Cucinotta praised her abilities at the plate. Keller has shown signs of a good bat, but is expected to spend time on the JV team, working on her pitching. Stern will be used as a utility player during the season.
“It is expected that they learn from everyone. They have to learn quicker in order to get that position,” Cucinotta said of the freshmen.
Coming off a three-win season, the team can only improve off of last year. With more experienced pitching and better batting, the Warriors believe they will be much improved over previous years.
“I think they’ll actually be very competitive this year. They may come off as the underdog, but they have a chance to really overcome that year especially with the new talent they have coming up,” Cucinotta said.
The Warriors start their season on the road at Stoughton on April 3. Game time is set for 3:45 p.m.