Featuring Solid Defense, Potent Hitting, Hun Softball Sweeps Mercersburg In Opener
STARTING WITH A BANG: Hun School softball player Abby Zucatti takes a cut in a game last spring. Junior outfielder Zucatti starred as Hun got its 2019 season started with a bang by sweeping Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) 16-0 and 19-4 in a doubleheader last Saturday. The Raiders will look to keep on the winning track as they host Lawrenceville on April 4 and Penn Charter (Pa.) on April 6 before playing at Doane Academy on April 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Many coaches believe that defense wins championships and the Hun School softball team is testing that theory this spring.
“Our defense has been very solid,” said Hun head coach Kathy Quirk, whose team went on its annual spring training trip to Florida in mid-March
“The hitting has been starting to come around. We have some new, young kids so it is a little bit of a challenge but that is what is all about.”
One of those young kids, freshman Lexi Murdock, will be handling the pitching duties for the Raiders along with senior Erin Harrigan.
“For a freshman, she throws very hard. She has a little bit of a control problem but is working hard everyday on it,” said Quirk.
“She did some nice things for us in Florida and threw three innings for us in our scrimmage and did well. Erin has some good pitches and she just needs to have confidence out there. We are hoping she really steps it up. I tell both of them I can’t defend a walk, you have got a defense behind you.”
Hun will be depending on junior star Gigi Venizelos to be an offensive catalyst.
“Gigi is leading off; we are looking for her to get on base every single time, whether she walks or hits,” said Quirk of Venizelos, who starred last year as Hun went 10-7 and advanced to the state Prep A title game.
“She has done well for us at shortstop; we are looking for some big things from her.”
Quirk believes that junior Abby Zucatti, senior Meghan Donohue, and freshman Nora Shea can also do some good things with the bat.
“Abby is batting No. 3 for us and doing a nice job,” said Quirk, whose team displayed a lot of fire power as swept Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) 16-0 and 19-4 in a doubleheader last Saturday to start the season.
“Meghan will bat No. 4 for us and if she stays in the correct batting position, she can hit the ball well. It is not trying to kill it, just making contact. Nora has been doing some hitting for us, she has a nice swing and does a nice job.”
On defense, Hun will feature sophomore Hanna Babuschak at catcher, Donohue at first, freshman Katie Angelini at second, Venizelos at shortstop, and senior MC Shea at third. The outfield will include Zucatti, junior Jackie Drozd, sophomore Kayla Hampton, and sophomore Aimee Millington.
In Quirk’s view, her squad has the pieces in place and can have a good season if it plays a sharp brand of ball.
“The big thing is that we need to play solid defense and pitchers need need to be strong and throwing strikes,” said Quirk, whose team hosts Lawrenceville on April 4 and Penn Charter (Pa.) on April 6 before playing at Doane Academy on April 8.
“I like the way we have been playing and talking, generating plays. Of course we have to score runs, we have to make it happen.”