Entering coach's 2nd season, Quaker Valley softball looking to get on right track
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Time is one thing on Quaker Valley softball coach John Tortorea's side this season.
Tortorea was hired just three weeks before the start of the 2012 season and the short turnaround showed in the results. The Quakers finished with a 4-13 mark, including a 1-13 record in Section 1-AA play, and finished the season with eight straight losses.
Expectations have been raised for 2013 though. Quaker Valley graduated only two players from last season's team and, with a full year of experience and offseason workouts, it may turn out to be a bounce back season.
“Last season, I was in a spot where I didn't know the girls well, and I was trying to implement a new system,” Tortorea said. “We started four freshmen and two sophomores with only one senior. It was a wake-up call to what high school softball is about.
“They didn't realize it is a commitment for 12 months of the year to fine tune everything.”
Sara Francis returns as the top pitcher for the Quakers. The senior is a four-year starter and will provide the team a consistent presence on the mound.
“The most important position in any level of softball is the pitcher,” Tortorea said. “She knows how to attack the batter. She isn't just a thrower but has developed into a pitcher.”
Sophomore Emily Dietrich will also get time on the mound.
Senior Rachel Smith is a three-year starter for the Quakers and will handle second base. Junior Alexis Glenn will return to first base for the Quakers.
“She has all the talent in the world,” Tortorea said. “First base is a huge strength for us.”
Sophomores who got playing time last season include outfielder/catcher Emma Fortuna, outfielder Molly Harkins and shortstop Cassie Heath.
Glenn will be the team's power-hitter and Smith also is expected to provide the team solid at-bats. Dietrich will be the Quakers leadoff hitter.
“She did a nice job last season of getting contact,” Tortorea said. “She had a high on-base percentage.”
Section 1-AA will remain largely the same, except for the departures of Brentwood to Section 4-AA and Bishop Canevin to Class A.
Tortorea said things likely will play out the same way it did in the section last year with Seton-La Salle and Keystone Oaks battling for the top two spots.
But with a playoff spot still in play, the Quakers have a chance to end a playoff drought that dates back to 1998.
“We already established our goal,” Tortorea said. “The first thing I asked them was what they wanted to do, and they said ‘lets make the playoffs.' ”
The Quakers are scheduled to travel to Seton-La Salle today, Thursday. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m.
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.
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.
- Starkey: Pirates, Burnett could work again
- Polamalu enters training camp as Steelers’ longest tenured player
- Outfielder Polanco driving force for Pirates in victory over Dodgers
- Pirates notebook: Phillies’ Burnett not demanding trade
- Pitt swingman Jones ready for breakout season
- Plane crashes in bad weather in Taiwan, killing 51
- Allegheny County warns of uptick in Lyme disease cases
- Pop star Perry brings high-energy world tour to Consol
- Selig: Pirates’ rebirth a positive step for baseball
- Black leaders back developer’s offer, say it could save August Wilson Center
- Hollidaysburg native Lafferty relishing his chance with Penguins