Penn State New Kensington softball team looks for fast start
College Football Videos
Last year, the Penn State New Kensington softball team finished 13-15 overall, 11-7 in the Penn State University Athletic Conference.
The quest to improve on last year's record begins Tuesday when the Lady Lions open their nonconference schedule against teams from Massachusetts, Iowa and Michigan as well as St. Vincent College.
“You play six games against teams from all over the country, and ironically, though, they have us scheduled to play St. Vincent,” PSNK coach Mike Marsili said. “You go all the way down to Florida and end up playing a team that's 30 miles from us.”
There won't be much vacation time for the Lady Lions. Spring training is more like a business trip.
After jumping out to a 9-1 start last season, the team advanced to the semifinals in the conference tournament but came up short against Penn State Mont Alto, 2-0.
Despite being known as a two-year school and only having one senior on the team, experience could benefit PSNK this year. The team features four juniors and four sophomores.
“Well, we have a lot of returning starters,” Marsili said. “We do have some injuries we have to deal with, though.”
The Lady Lions could be without their No. 2 pitcher, junior Jenna Swank (Ford City). The potential loss of Swank could put added pressure on their No. 1 hurler, Kiski Area graduate Tara Oravec.
Oravec, a junior who also plays the outfield, finished 3-1 last season with a 3.96 ERA. She batted .353 with four homers and 20 RBI.
“It's definitely going to be rough, but I think we will be OK,” Oravec said about the potential loss of Swank. “In high school, I was in there a lot pitching. It shouldn't be that bad.”
Senior first baseman Katie Colbert (Fox Chapel) could be moved from first base to left field, Marsili said.
Colbert said the position change won't hinder her thoughts on this season.
“Honestly, my mindset is that if the coaches feel that's best for the team, I will go anywhere,” Colbert said. “That's not something that will deter me of my play. I'll play anywhere.”
Something Marsili is hoping to turn around this year is the team's road record. The Lions were 7-3 at home but 3-7 on the road.
Other Alle-Kiski players on the roster are junior Breana Cass (Plum), sophomore Bridgette Fisher (Burrell), freshman Jessica George (Burrell), freshman Crissy Schaeffer (Ford City) and freshman Cassie Stivason (Leechburg).
PSNK opens conference play April 2 at Penn College.
D.J. Vasil is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Slippery Rock halts late rally, advances to D-II quarterfinals
- IUP can’t hold 10-point lead, loses D-II playoff game to Shepherd
- District Game of the Week: Assumption at Slippery Rock
- Alle-Kiski Campus Clippings: Huska takes double honor from PSAC
- Campus clippings: Kiski Area grad Frye top PAC punter at Bethany
- Cal U women have ‘banner’ weekend
- Position switch helps St. Vincent freshman Altieri make early impact
- Plum's Ellis, Kondis fare well for Mercyhurst football team
- Buleca off to strong start in 2nd season with Point Park women’s basketball team
- On campus: Williams, Dukes gearing up for NCAA football playoffs
- Sports injury discussion set for Cal U