E-W needs younger players to step up

  • By David Pan Enterprise sports editor
  • Wednesday, April 1, 2009 11:34am

The underclassmen are going to have to shoulder much of the load for the Edmonds-Woodway softball team this season.

Only three starters are back for the Warriors, who have a slew of sophomores moving up from the junior varsity squad. No sophomore is more important than pitcher Kaitlin Swartz.

Edmonds-Woodway doesn’t really have any other hurlers besides Swartz.

“She is a control type pitcher,” said Warriors coach Mike Venable. “She has a lot of different pitches. She mixes them up. She’s not especially overpowering. When she has her control she’s pretty effective.”

If Swartz can’t go, then Venable plans to call on senior shortstop Erika Hayes, a returning starter.

“We’re a little short in pitching,” Venable said. “So far (Swartz) has done well. She’s a good athlete and she seems to be doing well with it so far. I hope that continues.”

The other two starters include senior center fielder Alex Storino and senior second baseman Jenni Nelson. Storino played in the infield last season. Venable thought it would be a good idea to have her in center field.

“It’s a little bit new to her,” he said. “She has lots of speed. She covers a lot of ground. … She’s the quickest player on the team.”

Venable said that Hayes currently is out with a medical condition but is expected back soon.

Moving up from the junior varsity team to catch is senior Colleen Whalen. She’ll be backed up by junior Melissa Pond.

Sophomore Bria Spano takes over at first base and junior Molly McLauchlan will be at third base. Freshman Michelle Rumpel is handling the shortstop duties until Hayes is back.

The defense should be one of the Warriors’ strengths.

“They’re good defensive players and have a lot of experience,” Venable said of his infield.

Edmonds-Woodway struggled on offense early on but appears to improving. The Warriors had one hit apiece against Redmond, one of the top Kingco teams, and district rival Lynnwood.

But against Shorewood, Edmonds-Woodway produced four hits and generally hit the ball hard.

“We don’t have a lot of speed,” Venable said. “We’re going to try and manufacture some runs with hit and runs and that sort of things. We want to the ball in motion a little bit. We had a lot of line drives. We’re starting to find the holes.”

The three seniors are doing a good job in leading the younger players and Venable is excited about the Warriors’ future. “The younger players are getting experience,” he said. “That will help for next year.”

As for 2009, Venable is hoping Edmonds-Woodway can advance to the district playoffs and play at least .500 ball in the tough Western Conference South Division.

“Right now we’re just shooting for improvement and getting on the winning track” Venable said.

Talk to us