Wednesday, November 30, 2022

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Despite Roster Turnover, Expectations Remain High for Tribe Softball
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2022-03-30

            Unlike previous seasons, competition for multiple positions on the Upper Perkiomen softball team has been fierce. Despite the middle of the order lacking apparent heavy hitters, expectations for the Indians – who lost four starters to

Returning seniors for the Upper Perkiomen softball team

include, front row, Lynnsi Joyce and Mackenzie Schaffer,

back row, Kylene Gooch and Dani Freer.

graduation – remain the same. Head coach Dean Sullivan expects them to win the Pioneer Athletic Conference title, compete for the District One Class 5A tournament and make a deep run in the PIAA playoffs.

            "This is going to be a fun year," he said. "I told the girls this is their year. This is going to be the most fun they've ever had [on the softball field] because the last two years have been [terrible.]"

           Success between the lines would surely add to their enjoyment. The Tribe will rely on three seniors to provide up-the-middle strength. Shortstop Dani Freer, second baseman Kylene Gooch and catcher Lynnsi Joyce provide plenty of experience.

            Last season, the trio helped the team capture its fifth consecutive Frontier Division title. However, they failed to reach states for the first time in four seasons following a loss in the quarterfinal round of districts.

            This season, Madalyn Dyer has emerged as the No. 1 pitcher. Sullivan said he expects the junior, who missed the last two seasons with injuries, to surprise opponents. Dyer, who relies on pinpoint command, has already received scholarship offers from multiple Division I programs, according to the coach.

            "No one really knows about her," he said of Dyer, who will likely also play first base. "She's a really good pitcher and a pleasure to have on the team."

            Sullivan said four or five of the starting spots have not yet been filled. The coach said he hopes to figure out who fits where within two weeks, even though the Indians were scheduled to open their season on Wednesday at home against division rival Pope John Paul II.

           "We've got a lot of first-year players fighting for a position," said Sullivan, who added that 13 of his 17 player compete on a summer travel team. "Some of the girls may end up in positions they've never played before."

            Mackenzie Schaffer, the team's other senior, will likely fill a utility role. Ashley Forrest, a sophomore, could see time behind the plate or at third base.

            Darby Gasda and Morgan Robinson, a pair of sophomores, have worked their way into the outfield mix. Gasda could also play first base. Sophomore Elizabeth Proctor is expected to miss the entire season due to an injury, Sullivan said.

            Riley Eden has displayed offensive promise during the early days of practice. Sullivan said the ninth grader could see significant playing time at first base, third base or second base.

            "Riley has shown a lot of potential," said Sullivan, whose team is scheduled to host Souderton on Thursday before taking on Quakertown on Friday in a pair of non-league games. "She's going to hit. She is a gamer, even though she's got a lot to learn."


 

 

 

 

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