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Sunday, May 1, 2016

SPHS softball ready for season

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Samantha Tomasino
PUTNAMVILLE -- It's a new era for the South Putnam High School softball team.

Gone is long-time coach Allen Rains as the Eagles will be coached by Yvonne Canary this year.

"(Rains) was very successful with this program," Canary said. "We hope to continue that."

Canary has a lot to look forward to this season as the Eagles return seven starters after graduating only two players in first baseman Jessica Ca-nary and pitcher Jessica Bri-ones.

Losing a pitcher is difficult for any softball team. And losing a pitcher that helped a team finish 17-6 last year while advancing to the sectional final is even more difficult.

But the first-year SPHS coach is optimistic with three pitchers to choose from.

Canary said the Eagles will utilize perhaps three hurlers this year in freshmen Kelsey Anderson, Grace Aker and Samantha Tomasino.

She added sophomore Oceaia Boetjer did a good job last season as a relief pitcher and could be used in that capacity again this year. Boetjer normally plays shortstop for South Putnam.

Tomasino may see the most action for the Eagles this season. Even though she's only a freshman, Tomasino has quite a bit of experience, having played on several travel teams.

"She's confident," Canary said of the frosh hurler. "She'll do a great job for us. She's fit right in.

"She has a variety of pitches. She can make them stick. She's confident on the mound."

Meghan Canary, entering her third season as catcher for the Eagles, said chemistry with Tomasino has been easy so far.

"We're clicking very well," Canary said of the relationship.

In addition to Meghan Canary, the Eagles return two seniors in centerfielder Megan Robinson and third baseman Hannah Ames.

"They are two very valuable key players on this team," the coach said of her senior duo.

Canary said she expects to have Robinson hit leadoff for the Eagles again this year, utilizing the senior's speed.

"She can cover ground in the outfield," Canary said of Robinson.

The coach added that Ames has been a solid player in recent seasons.

"She does a great job at third base," she said of Ames. "She does a great job of keeping the girls in the infield going."

Ames said her focus has changed now that she's one of two seniors on the club.

"I just think we have a really good group of girls," she said.

Robinson added she believes the Eagles have the ability to equal or better last year's record.

"I hope that we do better than we did last year," Robinson said. "With the new freshmen, we know we have the potential."

Also back for the Eagles are juniors Morgan Wiggs (second base), Samantha Stanifer (right field) and Bailey Birt (first base), as well as Boetjer.

Freshman Crystal Welch is expected to start in left field.

"We've got a lot of experience back," Canary said of the 2007 Eagles. "We're excited. We've got some great leadership.

"I think (the team is) optimistic to show what its capable of. They're all very good athletes. I think we're really focused on doing our best. We're all expecting to do well."

The Eagles open the regular season April 2 at Cloverdale.

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