June 13, 2018

Youthful PHS Softball Took Its Lumps But Gained Valuable Lessons in the Process

SPECIAL K: Princeton High softball player Kylee Tucholski makes a play in a game this spring. Freshman pitcher Tucholski was a bright spot for PHS as it finished with a 2-18 record.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton High softball team ended the season by falling 10-0 to South Brunswick in the opening round of the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional, it marked an important step for the youthful squad.

“We didn’t expect to make the state tournament; we had a lot of girls on the team that were new to the varsity level,” said PHS head coach Marissa Soprano, whose team was seeded 16th in the sectional.

“Just being in a state playoff game was nice, even if we had to play the top seed. We had a couple of innings where they didn’t score any runs and so to hold them down after a big inning was nice, making sure we can stay in the game the best we can.”

The Little Tigers posted a nice victory in their regular season finale as they defeated Princeton Day School 12-2.

“We didn’t win that many games this season, so it was nice to be on the other side of it for the PDS game,” said Soprano, whose squad posted a final record of 2-18.

“It was the last time the seniors would play in our field, so that was nice. We had essentially the whole lineup get on base, their pitcher walked quite a few girls so it was a good chance to use base running skills.”

Senior star Bianca Guidi brought a lot of skill to the diamond over her PHS career.

“Bianca has been our leader the past couple of seasons; she is the only athlete that I have had who has been with the varsity program for four years,” said Soprano.

“She made a major impact behind the plate. She went into the catcher role halfway through just to give us a little more presence behind the plate. She is going to be a big loss to the program; she did a nice job this year.”

Guidi’s classmates on the team, Kate Wright, Kelli Friedman, and Sophie Mann-Shafir, also did a good job for PHS.

“Kate Wright was in the varsity program last year, and her bat in the lineup will be missed,” said Soprano.

“We moved her around this year on defense. Kelli played second base and in terms of her guidance to the younger girls, she was really good with the type of attitude she always brought to the program. Hopefully the girls she played with this year will be able to take that on. Sophie got on the field, she played third base or first base.”

Soprano, for her part, believes the Little Tigers can take more steps forward next spring.

“Hopefully we can capitalize on what we did this year,” said Soprano, whose returning players include freshman Kylee Tucholski, sophomore Jordan Guidi, junior Cameron Provorny, junior Cosette Hansen, and junior Grace Forrest.

“Our whole outfield was new as well as some of the infielders. It is just making sure that they learned from this season and can come back to the program and be the girls who can help out the incoming class next year. Kylee was our freshman pitcher and, with more work, she should be more consistent and pick up some speed as she goes.”