Hun Softball Saw a Promising 2020 Season With Trio of Senior Stars Leading the Way
TAGLINE: Hun School softball player Gigi Venizelos looks to tag a baserunner in a game last spring. Senior star and Colgate University-bound Venizelos was poised for a big final campaign before the 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Led by a trio of battle-tested and dedicated seniors, the Hun School softball team was bringing high hopes into this spring.
“I thought it was a promising season, our seniors did such a great job, working out this fall and winter,” said Hun head coach Kathy Quirk, whose Class of 2020 featured Gigi Venizelos, Abby Zucatti, and Jackie Drozd.
The Raiders did see some game action on their annual preseason trip to Florida.
“We did a get a chance to go to Florida and play two games down there,” said Quirk, whose team went 9-6 in 2019 as it advanced to the state Prep A semifinals.
“We were starting to jell, we were young. Of the pitchers we had on the mound, one was a freshman and one was a sophomore. We had a freshman at first base, who was very similar to Meg Donohue and we had a new sophomore at shortstop.”
But the trip was cut short due to concerns stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak and the season was subsequently canceled, leaving Quirk feeling particularly sad for her veterans.
“That was tough, my seniors were devastated,” said Quirk, noting that Venizelos is attending Colgate University and will play for its softball program while Zucatti has committed to attend Gettysburg College and play for its softball team and Drozd is headed to RIT where she will be playing tennis.
“We hadn’t been together that long and they wished we had been together the whole time in Florida. They felt that the kids would have really bought into the program but I do think they have given them a good foundation for the future. They left behind a lot of good traditions and good work ethic. There are things that I am really going to miss about them.”
Once the Hun players were back home, Quirk looked to keep their spirits up.
“I was more worried about their psychological and mental well-being more so than their physical conditioning because a lot of them work out on their own,” said Quirk.
“We would Zoom and just chat and try to keep everybody upbeat because we were initially hoping that we were going to have some part of the season. We had a Zoom lunch one week and we had a fitness testing another week where I put them in pairs and they had to do pushups, sit-ups, and burpees.”
Looking ahead, Quirk believes that this experience will lead everyone to take a different mental approach to the game whenever play resumes.
“I think it gives you more of an appreciation of things,” said Quirk, noting the team will be holding a Zoom spring banquet and that her three seniors made the honorary All-MAPL (Mid-Atlantic Prep League) team.
“No matter what the situation is, you have to work hard and want to be a part of something and just help each other out.”