Boasting Talent, Winning Mentality Hun Softball Primed for Big Season
SWING TIME: Hun School softball player Meghan Donohue takes a big swing in a game last spring. Sophomore standout Donohue will provide a punch in the middle of the lineup for the Raiders. Hun opens its 2017 season by playing at the Blair Academy on April 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
As a snowstorm hit the Princeton area earlier this month, the Hun School softball team headed south.
Leaving a few days before the March 14 storm, Hun arrived in Florida for its annual preseason trip.
While New Jersey was digging out of the snow and ice, the Raiders were making progress on the diamond.
“The trip went very well; we did well and we have a great bunch of kids,” said longtime Hun head coach Kathy Quirk, who led the Raiders to a 13-3 record and the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title last spring and is in her 42nd season guiding the program.
“It is probably one of the best trips I have had. We have to carry over what we did in Florida back here. We have to come back with that strong mentality that we can hit anybody that pitches to us and I am big on basics every day.”
Quirk is confident that her pitching tandem of junior transfer Alanna Pearson and junior co-captain Julia Revock will hold opponents at bay.
“Alanna Pearson and Julia will be sharing a lot of the time together,” said Quirk.
“Alanna does have velocity and Julia is looking good. They are both great kids and both of them are working hard. We are just going to go game by game.”
Senior catcher and co-captain Julie Fassl, a four-year starter, is looking very good in the field and at the bat.
“She is the captain for us this year along with Revock and she did a great job for us in Florida,” said Quirk, noting that the Virginia Wesleyan-bound Fassl was recently named as the Trenton Softball Hall of Fame scholarship winner.
“She hit two home runs in one game in Florida. She is the backbone to our defense; there is something special about her behind the plate.”
The Hun offense could be special as sophomore Meghan Donohue gives the Raiders punch in the middle of the order with Fassl, Revock, Pearson, and freshman Gigi Venizelos all solid hitters.
“Donahue looks good, right now she is batting fourth, that is where she batted for us in Florida,” said Quirk.
“Revock bats second. Fassl leads off for us, we want her up as many times as she can get up. Venizelos will probably bat third. She will either play third or shortstop for us. Pearson hits the ball well and hit well in Florida.”
As for Hun’s defensive alignment, Fassl is a fixture at catcher while junior Keelan Ryan will play second base, senior Kate O’Connell will play left field, freshman Abby Zucatti will be in center, and sophomore MC Shea will be in right.
Depending on who is pitching, Quirk will mix and match with other positions.
“Alanna may be at short when Julia is on the mound and when Alanna is on the mound, Gigi will go to short and Meghan will probably come to third from first and Julia goes to first,” explained Quirk, noting that sophomores Ava Taddeo and Kennedy Burroughs along with freshman Jackie Drozd will also see time in the field.
With Hun opening its 2017 season by playing at the Blair Academy on April 1, Quirk is optimistic about her squad’s prospects.
“Our goal is to defend our MAPL championship and do better in the states,” said Quirk.
“We have the group mentality to do it. They are a very coachable group of kids and I am really excited for the season.”