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Softball Confident About Upcoming Season

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Bottom row: Laura Hart, Stephanie Colon, Alana Gibson, Melissa Sluberski, Sarah Frawley, Casey Jung, Theresa Lau. Top row: Ashley Stockwell, Courtney Paganelli, Michelle Dellavecchia, Nicole Robertson, Cydney Appolito, Marissa Manley, Jenna Atmeh

Despite dropping their opener, the Verona Girls Softball team is looking forward to a successful 2010 season.  With a good mix of seniors and underclassman, the girls are excited to have their season underway.

The Hillbillies are lead by senior shortstop Stephanie Colon.  Colon will be batting third in the lineup, has power to all fields, and has speed on the bases.  Last year she was 1st team All Conference and batted over .500.

Senior Melissa Sluberski will be making the switch from third to first base this year with North Warren transfer Giana Tutela taking over at third.

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Behind the plate for the Hillbillies will be Nicole Robertson.  Robertson, who is also number 1 in her class, is a great gap hitter and has been hitting the ball well all preseason.

Coach Peter Foster could not say enough good things about his senior class; especially second basemen Theresa Lau.  “All of our seniors are amazing kids and leaders but Theresa has gone above and beyond,” he says.  “She organized fundraisers, off-season workouts, and has just has done an outstanding job this preseason.”

Junior Michelle Dellavecchia will be making her return to the outfield after missing all of last year with an injury and senior Cydney Appolito  will also be tracking down fly balls for the Hillbillies.  Alana Gibson, who unfortunately has been battling some injuries this year, is scheduled to return a few weeks down the road.

“We also have a very talented group of underclassmen who will be contributing this season,” Foster says.  “Many of them will be entering their second season on varsity and I think that experience will help us out a lot.  If the lower part of our order can get bunts down and get situational hits, we should be in good shape.”

Sophomore Janna Atmeh pitched the season opener and will likely be spending a lot of time on the mound for the Hillbillies.  Freshman Laura Hart and Marissa Manley both saw time in the team’s first game and will be key components to the season.

When asked about the switch from the Colonial Hills Conference to the Super Essex Conference, Coach Foster said that they are focused on playing their best, regardless of opponent.  “We haven’t even discussed the new conference yet.   We are focused on making sure we do what we need to do to be successful.  If we put the ball in play and make plays in the field, we should be able to compete and win games no matter who we play.”

The girls next game will be Saturday April 3 at 11 a.m. at F.N. Brown.

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