Wildcat Softball Team Looking for 'More'
After his Pennsylvania College of Technology softball team went 8-6 during his first season as coach, Roger Harris termed it "pleasing." But, he said, both he and the squad want more this year.
"I am looking for more. I know we have more and the girls want more. The girls want a banner on the wall and that's what they want to go for," Harris said as his team prepared for its opener Monday at Lehigh County Community College.
"I think we have everything we need, all the ammunition we need. We definitely have speed on the team, some great power hitters and good pitching," the coach said.
"Beth Thomas (freshman/Williamsport) and Rachel Siedzniski (freshman/Wayne) and Julie Reppert (sophomore/Lebanon Catholic) are great pitchers and we have a great defense behind them, so there's no reason why these girls can't go out there and play ball with the best of them," Harris continued.
Thomas will get the nod as the starting pitcher while Reppert starts at second base and Siedzniski splits time in right field with Kristy Owens (sophomore/Warrior Run).
Other starters include Stacy Cochran (freshman/Williamsport) at third base, Angie Hunter (freshman/Williamsport) at shortstop, Lynn Hirthler (sophomore/Council Rock) at first base, Evva Gohn (sophomore/Red Lion) catching, Lindsey Sanders (freshman/Jersey Shore) in center field and either Erin Derr (freshman/Williamsport) or Rachel Hall (freshman/Altoona) in right field.
Rounding out the roster are sophomore Jenifer Willett (Philipsburg-Osceola) and freshmen Rebecca Redding (Hanover), Lucia Martarano (Columbia-Montour) and Amy Schleicher (Baltimore, Md.).
Power hitters on whom Rogers is counting are Sanders, Gohn, Hunter and Hirthler. Speed merchants on the base paths include Derr, Siedzniski, Reppert, Owens, Sanders and Hunter. Hunter, Thomas and Reppert have been named tri-captains.
Many of his players started working out last fall and, other than during school breaks, have continued to do so throughout the winter.
"There's always been 10 to 11 girls out. I see a lot of dedication. A lot of the girls have come up to me and said, 'Coach, we want to go all the way with this,'" Harris noted. "I've got a group of girls who are hungry for this, so that makes it easy to coach."
Two of Harris' freshmen Hunter and Sanders played on opposing PIAA District 4 high school powers at Williamsport and Jersey Shore, respectively, and he looks to them for leadership.
"They're animals on the ball field. They bring a lot aggressiveness to the team and I think that aggressiveness wears off on a lot of the others. It's a special team that I have and I'm looking forward to the season," Harris added.