Softball team hopes for dry opener (4/9/09)

April 9, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

With a white covering of snow on area sports fields Wednesday morning, some baseball and softball scrimmages planned for the weekend were put in jeopardy.

But Champlain Valley Union High softball coach Corinna Hussey as of Tuesday night was optimistic that her season opener, set for the Redhawks’ home field this coming Tuesday, will be played as scheduled.

“We have the best field on campus,” Hussey said of the CVU softball digs, noting that the field drains very quickly.

Mount Abraham Union, a Division 2 power, is scheduled to appear at CVU for the 4:30 p.m. opener.

Young is the word for Hussey’s 2009 edition, as there is just one senior on the 14-member varsity squad. That is third baseman Holly Bachillas, a veteran that the coach says, “makes things hum.”

The important pitching slots will go to junior Anna Supple and sophomore Sara Eddy-Stewart, two hurlers credited by Hussey with “working very hard.”

A third possibility is sophomore Rachel Distler, who will open the season firing pitches for the junior varsity.

Behind the plate will be returning veteran junior Emily Himberg, whose experience should help the young pitchers.

The infield looks like junior Melissa Miller at first, sophomore Susan Parmalee at second and junior Heather McLaughlin at short, joining Bachillas at third.

Junior Chrissi Whitaker will start in center field and also serve as backup catcher.

Hussey said left and right field positions are still “up in the air,” with three juniors — Kelcey Lamphere, Callie Stewart and Cassidy Maglaris — in the mix.

Sophomores Kayleigh Colbeth and Cayla McCarthy, along with junior Sara Patten, are also in the hunt for significant playing time.

“We are looking pretty good,” Hussey said about her team’s chances this year. “I think a .500 season is possible.”

Thanks to the quick-draining field, the coach said the team has been able to get outside for practices three or four times, which is no small feat this chilly and wet spring.