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New Coach Thinks Tribe Softball Can Make District Playoffs
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent
2016-03-16

Upper Perk sophomore Taylor Lindsay fields a ball during practice last Thursday at Upper Perk. Lindsay is one of nine returning starters on the roster and will play at first and pitch.

        Upper Perkiomen's softball team spent the first week of practice holding tryouts. New head coach Dean Sullivan said he wanted to give all the players a fair look.

        "As a new coach, I don't want to keep exactly the same team as last year," he said.

        With nine returning starters, Sullivan didn't have many roster slots to fill. The coach said he expects the Indians to finish the regular season around .500 and compete for a spot in the District One playoffs.

        "We will have a young team," he said. "But we will be very mature. I think we can contend for a playoff spot."

        According to senior Lynsey Quinn, rebuilding the softball program is the top priority.

        "Our goal is to improve every season," she said. "We expect to play a little better than we have in the past."

        This season, Upper Perkiomen will be led by trio of sophomores. Taylor Lindsay, Alyssa Sullivan and Karlee Fretz each posted batting averages over .400 as ninth graders. According to Sullivan, all three are viable pitching options.

        Fretz, a catcher, earned second-team All-Pioneer Athletic Conference honors in 2015. Heidler, a third baseman, joined Fretz on the team as an honorable mention.

        The coach said Quinn and junior Emily Moll are also legitimate pitching options.

        "We have five girls who can pitch," he said. "It's a good thing to have."

        Seniors Chloe Clemente and Laura Frank, along with juniors Olivia Young and Sarah Heidler, are expected to round out the team's starting lineup. Sullivan expects that nine to be supported by a strong bench.

        "We've been playing together for a long time," Quinn said. "So we're bonding better than in past years."

        Look for the Indians, who open their schedule on March 18 with a non-league game at Norristown, then kick off their PAC-10 schedule on March 30 at Spring-Ford, to stress defense. 

        "We're working on drills to get them ready," the coach said. "Getting better on defense is one of our key goals."

        Last season, under head coach Walt Schmidt, the team finished seventh in the Pioneer Athletic Conference, going 5-13 (5-14 overall). Sullivan said that team struggled defensively.

        "We seemed to be out of position too often," said Sullivan, who served on the Schmidt's coaching staff in 2015. "We were really young. We left a few games on the field. I thought we were better than our record. We should have had between eight and 10 wins."

        The new coach described his personality as more outgoing than his predecessor. Sullivan explained his coaching style as "strict and firm," like Schmidt.

        "I'm not a screamer," said Sullivan, who has coached the Spring-Ford Sting, a summer team based in Royersford. "I want the girls to have fun, and hopefully they will succeed."

        Quinn, who expects to pitch more than she did last season, hopes the improved batting average she posted last summer playing with the Towamencin Xplosion will carry over into the spring.


 

 

 

 

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