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New Ringgold softball coach excited

| Friday, March 21, 2014, 12:26 a.m.
Jim Ference / The Valley Independent
Ringgold's Celina Cantini returns on the mound for the Lady Rams.

Fresh off of her playing career at Seton Hill University, first-year Ringgold softball coach Brandi Piccolino is excited to begin her coaching career.

According to the 22-year old coach, she has an advantage that a lot of other coaches do not have.

“I can relate to the girls because we are so close in age,” she said. “They talk to me about things easier than they might to someone who is older.

“I understand things going on in their life because I was there a few years ago, and I have two sisters their age.”

Piccolino and her team are still getting familiar with each other.

“We do not have a set nine players right now,” she said of a starting lineup. “I am still getting a feel for what they can do.

“Whoever I feel does best at practice or warming up in pregame could end up starting that day. Nothing is set in stone.”

The only two starters that Piccolino said are locked in are seniors Celina Cantini and Carie Gubella.

Cantini will be on the mound while Gubella will be her battery mate.

Three juniors are penciled in on the infield with Emma Ott at first base, Taylor Myers at third base, and Hayle Fosbrink at shortstop.

Senior Lauren Hollis and junior Kata Richards will be in the lineup although Piccolino hasn't decided who will be at second base and who will be in centerfield.

Junior Izzy Bright and freshman Gina Parnell have the inside track on the other outfield positions, but freshmen Jenna Martin and Destiny Ostrander will provide depth, according to Piccolino.

“We have to see who has depth perception and can track down fly balls,” Piccolino said.

As far as expectations, Piccolino is realistic.

“I want us to compete,” she said. “We are not going to blow anyone out, but I want us to compete.”

Piccolino will rely on her seniors for leadership, but she will also lead by example.

“Our three seniors are very supportive of everyone,” she said. “But the girls also know that I will not ask them to do something that I can't do.

“If I can't do something, we can't expect them to.”

Ringgold is in Section 2 AAA with Carrick, Montour, Moon, South Fayette, Trinity, and West Allegheny.

The Lady Rams open today when they host Belle Vernon Area in an exhibition game.

Bill Hughes is a freelance writer.

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