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image
Jess Ryan

Preview: Chariho softball


Head coach:

Dave Petrocelli (11th season).

Assistant coaches:

Heidi Gleich, Devin Smalley, Mark Desjardins (volunteer).

Last year:

Chariho finished 10-11 overall, 10-6 in Division I (tied for fifth place of 17 teams). The Chargers lost 2-1 to Bay View the preliminary round of the Division I playoffs.

Returning to varsity:

Seniors:

Brianna Cole (SS, captain), Alexis Marsella (LF, captain), India O’Neil (P/3b, captain), Jess Ryan (1B, captain), Megan Rousseau (CF).

Juniors:

Taylor Heaney (C/INF), Brittany Place (INF/OF), Jillian Rios (OF), Tori Vieiera (C).

Sophomores:

Lexi Desjardins (2B), Kailee Morgan (P/3B).

New to varsity:

Senior:

Emily Hollister (INF/OF).

Freshmen:

Rachel Boyle (INF/OF), Jessica Rego (INF), Jayna Ryan (C), Lauren Rousseau (C/SS), Erika Smith (P).

Outlook:

Chariho graduated six seniors, including the team’s top three hitters: Vicky Ferraro (.388) and All-Staters Skye Hart (.364) and Sydney Scott (.356). They comprised the middle of the defense: pitcher Becky O’Donnell, catcher Ferraro, shortstop Scott and center fielder Hart.

The turnout of 34 was higher than usual and presents a varsity squad that is heaviest in seniors and freshmen.

“Right up the middle is most team’s strength,” Coach Petrocelli said. That should be this team’s major challenge.

O’Neil and Morgan had a few pitching starts last year behind workhorse O’Donnell and will be splitting duties between pitcher and third base. Heaney, Vieiera and Jayna Ryan and Rousseau are vying for the catcher’s job.

The infield looks to be very strong defensively. Veterans Ryan and Desjardins return to first and second, Cole moves from left field to shortstop and O’Neil returns to third when not pitching.

Marsella moves from right field to center; the rest of the outfield will be very new. Veteran Rousseau returns as designated hitter but may start the season on the injured list.

Coach’s take:

“We’ll be a scrappy-like team. We’ll have a little bit of pop (power) and a lot of scrappiness. We’ll hit-and-run and manufacture some runs. We want to build on every game as the kids get better. Realistically, we’re probably looking at the middle of the pack, but we want to enter the playoffs on a roll. Then we can be dangerous.”



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