Mt. Pleasant softball coming together under new coach
Mt. Pleasant has a new softball coach, but the Vikings will have a familiar face on the mound this season.
“As a first-year coach and first-year teacher, I have a lot on my plate,” coach Lauren Shaheen said. “My coaching staff (Ashley Snyder and Allison Homulka) brings so much to the table with personality and softball knowledge.”
The Vikings' starting lineup will be comprised of a mix of upper- and underclassmen. A senior group will be led by Ashley Pospisil and Paige Hertzog, and will also include Felicia Premich and Amanda Golkosky. Pospisil returns as the team's top pitcher.
“She brings experience and senior leadership,” Shaheen said.
Hertzog starts at third base, Premich will see time at shortstop and Golkosky gets the nod in left.
Junior Alicia Polcha will start in center field, along with two sophomores, second baseman Courtney Zelmore and third baseman Kayla Queer. Catcher Kayla Hutter and right fielder Nikki Klejka, both freshmen, will start. Another freshman, Macey White, will serve as Pospisil's backup.
“We are very young, which is a good thing in my eyes,” Shaheen said. “The girls are learning and working hard day in and day out to get better. They are learning to play with one another and working so well together.”
Joining Mt. Pleasant in Section 4-AAA are Albert Gallatin, Brownsville, Derry, Greensburg Salem, Laurel Highlands and Uniontown.
“Greensburg Salem, as we have learned, is a very competitive team with almost all of its starters returning,” Shaheen said. “They are the team to beat.”
The Vikings started the season with a loss to Greensburg Salem, but rebounded to beat Albert Gallatin.
Shaheen, a two-time Tribune Review Softball Player of the Year at Hempfield, hopes her blended group of athletes can eventually play together as one cohesive unit.
“We have team and personal goals set for ourselves and we remind ourselves of them every day,” Shaheen said. “Our biggest goal is to stay mentally strong. If we can do that everything will fall into place.”
Mt. Pleasant will host Brownsville on Thursday.
Dave Stofcheck is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.