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Keystone Oaks softball challenging for Section 1-AA title

| Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
File photo
Senior Kiersten Badzgon will move from pitching to right field this season.
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Senior Eryn Caragein and the Keystone Oaks softball team are expected to compete with Seton-La Salle for the Section 1-AA title.

Mark Kaminski wanted the Keystone Oaks girls softball team to get serious when he took over last season. It didn't take long for the new approach to produce results.

The Golden Eagles finished the season with a 13-5 record after averaging seven wins a season in three years prior and led the team to its first playoff berth since 2008.

Kaminski expects to see his squad continue to grow and exceed what it did last season.

“I think we are going to do really well,” Kamiski said. “I told the team when I took the job this is a year round thing and just not something you do when the team gets together in March.”

The pitching duties will see a shake up Keystone Oaks added Alexis Tripp, a South Side Beaver transfer. The senior was named all Section 5-A as a junior as she recorded 82 strikeouts and an 8-4 record during the regular season for the Rams.

“She plays travel ball and has been through a lot,” Kaminski said. “She knows what needs to be done.”

The transfer moved last season's pitcher Kiersten Badzgon to the outfield. The move was done because of her arm strength and her ability to make the throws from right field to third base.

The team will also be boosted on defense by the return of juniors Meghan Staab at shortstop and Eryn Caragein in center field.

The offense will once again be powerful with its mix of timely hits and strong base stealing. The Golden Eagles scored seven or more runs in 15 of their 17 regular season games in 2012 and hit double digits 10 times.

“I am not worried about anyone not being able to deliver at the plate,” Kaminski said. “We still have most of our speed.”

Section 1-AA will stay intact from its 2012 form outside of the defections of Bishop Canevin and Brentwood. Kaminski said the section will be tough as Our Lady of Sacred Heart and defending section champion Seton-La Salle will provide a challenge.

If Keystone Oaks can continue its growth from last season, it might be able to knock off the two-time defending champ.

“We want to win the section and go deep into the playoffs,” Kaminski said.

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at nsmith@tribweb.com or 412-388-5813.

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