Web Edition

lead stories
other news



chess forum
town talk


press releases


last week's issue

real estate
classified ads


(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)

BRINGING THE HEAT: Princeton High pitcher Dylan Zink fires a pitch in a game last year. Zink produced a sparkling debut last spring in her freshman year as she threw a no-hitter and piled up 160 strikeouts, third-best in the Colonial Valley Conference. Zink and the Little Tigers start their 2005 season lay by hosting Lawrence on April 1 and then playing at WW/P-S on April 4.

With Pitching Ace Zink as Linchpin, PHS Softball Poised for Big Spring

By Bill Alden

Last spring, Princeton High softball coach Steve Eisenstein held his breath as he turned over the ace pitcher's role to untested freshman Dylan Zink.

The precocious Zink proved to be up to the challenge as she ended up third in the Colonial Valley Conference in strikeouts with 160 and culminated her dazzling debut season by hurling a no-hitter against powerful Hamilton.

With Zink providing consistency on the mound, PHS finished with a final record of 6-18, thereby doubling its win total from 2003.

As Eisenstein looks ahead to the 2005 season, he is expecting even bigger things from his ace. "She is looking good, she had a great year for us as a freshman," said Eisenstein, whose club opens regular season play by hosting Lawrence on April 1 and then playing at WW/P-S on April 4.

"Her composure will be better on the mound with that year under her belt. She knows the other teams and how to pitch them. Her speed has picked up and she throws some good junk."

While Zink will carry the lion's share of the pitching load for the Little Tigers, Eisenstein can use junior Emma Hare and freshman May Ying out of the bullpen to give his ace some rest.

PHS should have a tighter defense around Zink this spring. "I think we'll be sound defensively," said Eisenstein, whose team was hurt by defensive lapses at times last spring.

"Rebecca Katz made so much improvement last year at catcher from her first year. I think Emma and Jin [Yi] have the speed and ability to track down balls in the outfield. Lauren Santiago should help us out there too. Dee Dee Mahon will be at shortstop for us, she has really stepped her game up."

The PHS defensive alignment around the diamond should include senior Emily Frantzen at first base, senior Terry Golubieski at second, and junior Sue Westock at third.

Eisenstein acknowledges that run production is his team's biggest question mark coming into the season. "We need to be able to score more runs," asserted Eisenstein, who is in his third year at the helm of the PHS program.

"We need someone to step up and replace the production we got from Eliza Stasi (a .333 hitter in 2004 in her senior year). If we can get runners on base, we should surprise people and be OK. We have a little more speed in the past and we have some left-handed hitters."

Eisenstein is looking to senior catcher Katz to spark the PHS offense. "Rebecca was one of our big hitters last year and we're expecting more from her this spring," said Eisenstein, who also got some key hits last spring from Mahon, Yi, Hare, and Frantzen.

Overall, Eisenstein is expecting his team to be at the .500 record required to qualify for the state tournament.

"That needs to be everybody's goal," said Eisenstein, referring to the quest for a state tournament berth. "This should be a pretty good year for us. In the past two seasons, I think the program has made a lot of progress. We have a lot more experienced players on the field."

With a pitcher like Zink in the fold, PHS should experience plenty of wins this spring.

Go to calendar


Website Design by Kiyomi Camp