|Softball Has Big Ambitions for 2012 Season||03/22/2012|
Cresson— Will the third time be a charm? That is the looming question for fifth-year head coach Carl Teeter and the Mount Aloysius softball team.
The Lady Mounties have finished each of the last two years as the AMCC regular season champion, but have come up short in their bid to claim the all-important conference tournament crown and accompanying automatic bid the NCAA national tournament.
They are again picked to finish top of the conference in this year’s coaches poll. Teeter believes having that kind of bulls eye on his team back can be very motivational for his players.
“I like it, but the girls know (the poll) means nothing unless you produce,” Teeter said.
Much of Mount Aloysius’ ability to produce will fall on the shoulders of first team all-conference pitcher Shelby Kline.
The State College native went 15-4 with a 1.52 earned run average last year. Kline also recorded 83 strikeouts, which was good enough to rank her third in the entire AMCC.
“We are just looking to get the same out of Shelby as last year. She was great,” Teeter said.
Sophomore Megan Brown, another State College alum, will be Kline’s counterpart on the mound. Brown sat out the 2011 season to concentrate on her academics, but saw considerable action two years ago. She went 6-3 in 75 innings of work.
The Lady Mounties return four other all-conference performers in sophomores Bethany Cocola, Lindsy Sammarco, Jalisa Westover and Mariah McDowell.
Cocola had a .375 batting average as the team’s starting catcher. Sammarco batted .354 and was second on the team in on-base percentage. McDowell started at first base, and drove in 28 RBI’s while batting .384. Westover batted .398 and led the team in triples.
“All of them are playing in mid-season form already,” Teeter said. “Westover has been especially lighting up the ball.”
Other returners include junior Meagan Thomas and sophomore Jena Bobik. Thomas will again be a key cog in the Lady Mounties’ infield, while Teeter expects Bobik to be a much bigger contributor this season.
“(Bobik) has been a real stud so far. She’s been smashing balls and playing defense like I have never seen before,” Teeter said.
A pair of freshmen round out the Lady Mounties lineup. Former Claysburg-Kimmel standout Kelsey Ickes should provide the team with some pitching depth.
“Throughout fall ball and spring training, (Ickes) has been nothing short of spectacular,” Teeter said.
The other newcomer Teeter has high hopes for is State College alum Elle Hart. She will play in the outfield and serve as the team’s leadoff hitter.
Mount Aloysius opened their season last week in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Their home opener will be March 24 when they welcome conference foe Hilbert College to Ward Field for an afternoon doubleheader.