Young softball roster doesn't faze Sewickley Academy coach
TribLIVE Sports Videos
While a youthful roster can cause stress for some coaches, Sewickley Academy softball coach Win Palmer is embracing it.
His Panthers have only two seniors and one junior on the roster, but that isn't stopping them from looking to qualify for the WPIAL Class A playoffs for a second straight year.
“We are very excited for this year and the future,” Palmer said. “We have the pieces in place and feel we can battle for a playoff spot like last year. We are rock solid for the next four or five years.”
The Panthers No. 1 pitcher will be freshman Savannah Henry. The youngster plays for a travel team so she has experience to go along with her ability on the mound.
“She throws a nice fastball and has a wonderful changeup,” Palmer said. “She moves the ball around nicely. She has great tools and works hard.”
Sarah Manzinger also will see time as a pitcher and offers a strong arm and quick release, according to Palmer. But the sophomore's true contribution will come as a catcher, a position she played last season when she allowed just three stolen bases.
“I think the defense all starts behind the plate,” Palmer said. “In my opinion, we have a top pitcher in the WPIAL, not just our section.”
Freshman Megan Kyne also will be a pitching option but will likely be used more on the junior varsity level.
The youthful pitching staff will benefit from several returning players around the diamond. The team's lone junior, Mackenzie Pryor, returns at first base, a position she received all-section honors for last year. Senior Camdin Bartholomew will be back at shortstop.
“Kat Goebel will be back at third base after an outstanding rookie year,” Palmer said. “Camdin's younger sister, Alexa, started in right field last season and will be moved to second base this season.”
Palmer said his squad lacks a true power hitter but will make up for it with several solid batters, including Goebel and Manzinger, who both hit near .400 last year.
“I felt we were streaky last year,” Palmer said of the 9-7 club. “We would pile up the hits on some teams and struggle to hit against others. We want more consistently solid at bats.”
The Panthers will move to Section 1-A this season but will continue playing many of their Section 3-A rivals from last year, including Cornell, North Catholic, Northgate and Sto-Rox. Avella will also play in the new section, as well as Bishop Canevin and Burgettstown, which both dropped down from Class AA.
“Playoffs are definitely the overall goal,” Palmer said. “There are a lot of unknowns because we don't know a lot about Avella, Bishop Canevin or Burgettstown. Sto-Rox has a good team and will get one of the spots. So, basically there will be seven teams playing for two spots. If we can make the playoffs again, it will be a wonderful accomplishment.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.
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.
- Penguins see Stars, blanked by Dallas in opening game
- Police: Woman, 18, pretended to be student, assaulted Perry principal
- Steelers quarterback Vick getting more acquainted with offense
- Starkey: Pirates gaining bad big-game rep
- Pirates notebook: Fastball command issues hurt Cole against Cubs
- Kennametal HQ relocation rankles Westmoreland County business leadership
- Clerical error blamed as Armstrong inmate is released
- What’s old is new at Toll Gate Revival in Lawrenceville
- Steelers hoping to establish run early against San Diego
- School supplies, equipment on the auction block in former Kittanning school gym
- A field day on social media as Pirates’ Rodriguez attacks Gatorade cooler