March 27, 2024

Coming Off 2 Straight Championship Seasons, Hun Softball Primed for Another Stellar Spring

SAM’S CLUB: Hun School softball player Sam Jolly heads to first base in action last spring. Sophomore infielder Jolly, who batted .672 in 2023 in her debut season for the Raiders, figures to be an offensive catalyst again for Hun this spring. The Raiders host Lawrenceville on March 28 to start their 2024 campaign. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Hun School softball team coming off two superb seasons that have seen the program win consecutive Prep A and Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) titles, the Raiders realize that their foes are primed to knock them off their perch.

“They know that there is a big target on their backs and everybody is after us,” said Hun head coach Kathy Quirk, who guided the Raiders to a 15-2 record in 2023. “They have to be confident in themselves.”

Hun gained some confidence from a spring trip to Florida earlier this month.

“We played teams from Canada and then a team from New England,” said Quirk, whose team hosts Lawrenceville on March 28 to start its 2024 campaign. “It was good competition for us.”

The Raiders boast the pitching staff to compete with anyone, led by senior stars Lexi Kobryn and Jamie Staub. Kobryn, a Villanova commit, struck out 178 in 92.1 innings with a 0.76 ERA in 2023 while Staub, who will be playing at Brandeis University next year, had 25 strikeouts in 18.2 innings with an 1.88 ERA.

“Lexi looks strong, both her and Jamie had good results down in Florida,” said Quirk, whose pitching staff will also include junior Anna Murphy. “We will see how things go, I hope to give Jamie pitching time.”

The versatile Kobryn gives Hun some strong hitting as well, batting .527 with six homers and 31 RBIs last spring.

“She is healthy, she worked out all winter and all fall,” said Quirk, noting that Kobryn will bat third again this spring. “She still works out in the morning — she will come to school at 6 to get work in. I just hope it is good season for her.”

Quirk is hoping that sophomore Sam Jolly, junior Emma Eisenberg, sophomore Rowan Lacy, Murphy, and Staub can also provide some hitting punch.

“We are struggling a little bit offensively, we miss the bats of Kat Xiong and Sammy Kandel,” said Quirk. “Sam Jolly will lead off, I am hoping Emma Eisenberg, Murphy, and Rowan Lacy can pick up the slack. Murphy struggled a little offensively in Florida, except in her last game when she hit a grand  slam inside the park. I think that gave her a little bit of confidence. I am hoping for something big from Jamie.”

Across the diamond, Hun looks strong with the glove. “I have always prided myself on our defense,” said Quirk. “Emma is at catcher, Jamie is at first, and we have Sam at second. Right now we have Kailey Jacobs at short and Bri Riviello at third. She is a really good third baseman.”

In the outfield, Quirk has Murphy in center field and Lacy in right with junior Sophia Troiano, freshman Piper Morey, sophomore Ally McCoy, sophomore Natalia Landamia, sophomore Vasi Bonchev, and freshman Norah Shore in the mix for playing time.

While Quirk believes her squad possesses the pieces for another championship campaign, she knows that isn’t a given.

“I am just hoping for them that they are able to produce and to do what they want to do,” said Quirk. “We have a lot to do between now and Thursday.”