Written by Vinny Messana, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 27 March 2014 09:27
The Hicksville varsity softball team is coming off a strong season after defeating Long Beach in the playoffs, and Head Coach Rich Hinnerschietz is confident about his team building on that success. He does not care that the current squad will only feature five returning players.
“There’s no time to rebuild,” said the 14th year Head Coach. “We hope to compete right away.” Hinnerschietz has lofty goals and plans on making noise in Conference II. “If we can get a couple home playoff games we’ll be alright,” he concluded.
It will be a tall order for the Comets to duplicate their 13-6 season. The team will be playing crossover games with formidable Conference I opponents. Additionally, they will have to replace the ace-level performance of Jenna Markakis, who was a four-year starter that has since graduated and moved on to play at Mercy College.
Taking her role will be Danielle Anzalone. Hinnerschietz has the utmost confidence in her despite not being needed much the past couple seasons because of Markakis.
Anzalone, who pitched three innings in the last game of the season while allowing only one run, has the support of her Head Coach. “She is poised on the mound, she throws strikes, she is not going to get rattled and she never loses composure,” he said.
Fortunately for the Comets, the returning players have all proven their mettle at this level. Amanda Mascia is a fifth-year player who played first base for the first three seasons of her career. She will be playing second base and batting second in the lineup. As a sophomore she batted .314 with a .493 OBP. She increased those figures to .388 and .508 last season. Mascia will be counted on to provide elite offense at the top of the order. Batting in the cleanup spot will be Kaitlyn Delaney, another fifth year player. For the first four years of her career she was a catcher, but Hinnerschietz noted that her “knees finally got the best of her.” Delaney hit .302 last season with a .313 OBP, hit two home runs, two triples and drove in 15 runs. She will provide pop in the middle of the order. At third base, Alex Gaudelli will man the hot corner. She is a junior entering her third-year of varsity ball. She hit .317 with a .472 OBP but her coach is enamored with her defensive ability. “She has a great glove,” he said. “She is incredible at taking away the bunt and moving to her right,” he concluded.
The Comets will open up their season against Plainview in a non-league game, and opened up their conference season with Syosset on the 25th. Upcoming home games are Saturday March 29 at 10 a.m. against Baldwin and Thursday, April 3 at 4:30 p.m. against Port Washington.