April 19, 2017

With Fassl Aiming to Enjoy Final Campaign, Hun Softball Looking Like a Powerhouse 

ON THE BALL: Hun School softball player Julie Fassl hones in on the ball last week against Lawrenceville. Senior star catcher Fassl went 2-for-4 with a triple, a run, and an RBI to help Hun top Lawrenceville 9-1 in the April 11 contest, The Raiders, who improved to 3-1 with a 20-0 win over Rutgers Prep last Thursday, play at Lawrenceville on April 20, host Academy of New Church (Pa.) on April 22, and play at Princeton Day School on April 25. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

The temperature soared into the 80s as the Hun School softball team hosted Lawrenceville last week.

Not having played in eight days before the April 11 contest, the Hun players came out on fire with their bats, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Senior star catcher Julie Fassl got things started for the Raiders from the leadoff spot, lining a single, stealing a base, and then coming home on a fielder’s choice.

“I was trying to get myself out of the slump; hitting a single to right center felt great just to get it out of the way,” said Fassl.

“It started off the game well too. We all followed up on it too; it got momentum going.”

Hun built on that momentum, adding two runs in the second and four more in the sixth on the way to a 9-1 triumph.

Fassl helped spark the second inning rally with an RBI triple. “That at-bat was the longest I have had,” said a smiling Fassl.

“It really felt nice to hit the triple, I just got in front of it and I got it right in the power zone. It was a perfect pitch, a perfect hit, it felt great.”

Hun’s offensive outburst on the win over Lawrenceville had Fassl feeling very good about Hun’s prospects this spring.

“We are very young but a lot of our girls are playing travel which is great,” said Fassl.

“We are all practicing outside of school ball. We have a lot of powerful bats too. We are all just working together now. When someone gets on, the other girl hits her in. It is working really well the year.”

Batting first in the lineup gives Fassl the chance to spark the Raiders.

“I love batting leadoff for Hun, it gives me more confidence because the team has confidence in you as a leadoff batter,” said Fassl. “It feels great, I like getting the extra at-bats.”

Having starred at field hockey and basketball at Hun in addition to softball, Fassl is savoring her final season at the school.

“I am upset about it but at the same time you have to enjoy it,” said Fassl, who is headed to Virginia Wesleyan to play field hockey and softball and named as a Trenton Softball Hall of Fame scholarship winner.

“It is the last season, there is no pressure on you. You have done all you do. This year I am just really trying to enjoy it.”

Hun head coach Kathy Quirk was happy to see Fassl have a big game against Lawrenceville.

“Julie is just such a competitor; if she doesn’t do well, she gets frustrated,” said Quirk.

“She has come around and she plays well. She is a competitor and she just wants everyone to do well.”

Quirk was pleased with the contributions she got throughout the lineup in the win over Big Red.

“I thought their pitcher did a nice job but we were just able to capitalize,” said Quirk, whose team defeated Rutgers Prep 20-0 last Thursday in improving to 3-1 and plays at Lawrenceville on April 20, hosts Academy of New Church (Pa.) on April 22, and plays at Princeton Day School on April 25.

“We practice hitting every day. We practice with heavy balls, we practice with wiffle balls. I have been telling them. We just can’t go through the motions. You are at bat to hit a ball.”

Senior Kate O’Connell lashed two hits in the Lawrenceville game, showing how she has benefitted from that practice.

“We just tell her to just go up there and slap it and have fun,” said Quirk.

“That it is a key to her, she has just got to have fun. She has come such a long way. The first hit she had today was a beauty. She is enjoying it, she is a captain. She has really taken over with the role. I am just really happy for her.”

Junior transfer Alanna Pearson had fun in the circle, striking out seven and giving up two hits in going the distance.

“It has been tough because Julia Revock hasn’t been on the mound,” said Quirk. “My defense is the best when Alanna is on the mound.”

The Hun defense has been bolstered with freshman Gigi Venizelos playing shortstop and sophomore Meghan Donohue finding a spot at third base.

“I have been happy with Gigi at shortstop, she is usually a third baseman,” said Quirk.

“We have moved her and moved Meghan to third, both of them did it for the good of the team. Meghan is a first baseman and she said, ‘I will do what you want.’”

Fassl, for her part, is happy with how Hun is coming together and sees big things on the horizon.

“Our team is really close chemistry-wise; we are all friends,” said Fassl.

“We have bonded really well so far. I am looking for states this year and MAPLs (Mid-Atlantic Prep League) too.”