Written by Vinny Messana Thursday, 27 March 2014 00:00
Coming off playoff berths in each of the two seasons under Head Coach Anthony Tramonte, the Mineola Mustang softball team is confident they will return. They will have the challenge of replacing six starters from last season that graduated, but Tramonte feels that the team’s strength will carry the load.
“What we lack in power, we make up in speed and defense,” said Tramonte, whose squad is coming off a strong 8-4 season that ended with a 1-0 loss to Glen Cove in the first-round of the playoffs. “We will be relying on bunting and moving the runners and executing the little things,” he said.
The offense will be led primarily by a contingency of youngsters that played on the junior varsity squad last season. Tina Conway, Katherine Farrell, Erin Meehan and Rebecca Katinas are all new to varsity. Tramonte is confident, however, in their ability to execute well enough to succeed at this level. His middle infield combo of Conway and Farrell are both speedsters that feature terrific gloves in the field. That will provide the team with a strong foundation for team defense.
Katinas is an outfielder that has impressed her Head Coach with her defensive ability. Meehan will provide versatility for the team.
Tramonte noted that Meehan can play almost any position, including pitcher. She is a sophomore that will primarily see time at first base, but can play third base if needed. She can also handle the bat well.
Although the team will be young, there are two sophomores that will be the backbone of the team.
“We have a very strong battery,” said Tramonte, in reference to his strong duo at pitcher and catcher. Emily Skupp, a third-year varsity player, will be the ace of team. She has led the Mustangs to the playoffs in both of her seasons and was named All-County in both of those years as well.
The starting catcher, Mallory Donelan, will be patrolling the plate. Tramonte lauded her for being a hard worker and for her defensive ability.
“She can handle Emily,” he said. That is especially important when the ace pitcher and catcher develop a rapport and can work well together. She is no slouch offensively, either. “She is a great hitter, and even though she is a righty, she can also slap the ball as a lefty,” he said.