With nearly every player from last year’s squad returning, 2014 should be a year of improvement for the Southampton softball team.
The Lady Mariners lost only left fielder Jenna Hegel and pitcher Gina Curreri—who missed most of the season with a broken ankle—to graduation from a team that went 3-13 in League VII, 3-14 overall.
Head coach Virginia McGovern said she is hoping that the returning players, with a year of experience under their belts, can push Southampton into .500 territory this year and secure a spot in the playoffs.
Junior Emily Goleski will return to the pitching circle and should be even more effective this year, while her classmate Lexi Rosko will be back to fulfill her duties behind the plate. Rosko was an All-League catcher last year.
The infield will be anchored by senior shortstop Caroline Rumph, while sophomore Chloe Schmidt will be an effective utility infielder, and senior Joshaya Trotman will also see time in the infield, most likely at second base.
Senior Hannah Gross, an All-League player last year, will be the team’s centerfielder, while sophomore Chloe Scheuch will likely play in right field.
Eighth-grader Samantha Wesnofske will join the varsity squad this year and will be the backup pitcher. McGovern said she still has holes to fill in her roster and will be bringing up some freshmen at some point soon.
McGovern also said she expects Rumph, Gross and Schmidt to anchor the team at the plate.
Southampton will compete in League V this year, in what is a new alignment for the softball leagues in Suffolk County. There are now just five leagues, as opposed to eight. All Class B and C teams will compete in League V, while Leagues I through III are made up of Class AA teams, and League IV includes all Class A teams. The Lady Mariners will play each team in their league twice, for a total of 18 games.
McGovern said she expects Southampton’s fellow Class B foes Center Moriches, Babylon and Hampton Bays to be tough, and said defending Class C state semifinalist Pierson should be strong as well.
The Lady Mariners were scheduled to start the season with five scrimmages, playing at Shoreham/Wading River on March 12, home against East Hampton on March 13, home against Newfield on March 18, at Comsewogue on March 19, and at Bellport on March 20. Southampton will kick off the League V season at Stony Brook on Monday, March 24, at 4:30 p.m.