Sports

Chatham Softball Looks for Stability to Breed Success in 2017

Bonnie Kennedy, who played second base last season, returns to the outfield for Chatham this year Credits: TAP Chatham
Chatham pitchers Melissa Landry and Anna Lengner Credits: TAP Chatham
Returning starters l to r: Morgan Pellegrin, Bonnie Kennedy, Camryn Davies and Hallie Pellegrin Credits: TAP Chatham
Coach Brian Figueiredo enters his second season as the Chatham softball coach Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - After a few tumultuous years, the Chatham High softball team has finally found some stability.

The Lady Cougars finished their 2016 campaign with a 20-6 record. Coach Brian Figueiredo believes that they have the chance to further improve on that success this season.

“I think the key to last year’s success was stability in the program,” Figueiredo said. “The girls had been through an awful lot the previous three years with coaching changes, injuries, and so on.”

Sign Up for E-News

Entering his second year in the program, Figueiredo hopes that the team can put all of those distractions behind them.

“I got the sense very early that they were looking for all those distractions to be put in the rearview mirror, and just focus on softball,” Figueiredo said. “Once we gained each other’s trust, the talent of the program took center stage, and the players could just focus on softball.”

Most of the varsity lineup will return for the 2017 campaign. Seven players will be entering their senior year at Chatham, including pitcher Melissa Landry, catcher Kelly Krincek, outfielders Amelia HoffmanSarah Stubeck and Bonnie Kennedy, and infielders Morgan Pellegrin and Hallie Pellegrin.

Landry, who has committed to play at Bentley next year, is backed up by sophomore pitcher Anna Lengner, who also pitched for the varsity last season. Lengner also plays the outfield.

Kennedy, returning to center field for the season after a year at second base, will be the leadoff hitter ahead of junior shortstop Camryn Davies. Kennedy has committed to play at American International next year.

“Kennedy has tremendous speed at the top, and Davies is the perfect two hitter,” Figueiredo said. “Those two will set the tone for any offensive success we’ll have this season."

A trio of sophomores are looking to make an impact on the varsity squad as well. Infielders Sarah McCabe and Lauren Sullivan and catcher Kaitlin Pinaire are expected to contribute this season. Figueiredo believes that McCabe has the chance to be the team’s regular Designated Player, while Sullivan and Pinaire will fill in at catcher and second base.

Making her return to the softball field this season is senior second baseman Morgan Tobin. Tobin had missed the previous two seasons after multiple ACL injuries, but she has fought back and earned a starting spot in the infield.

“Tobin is an inspiration to all of us,” the coach said. “To battle back from two knee injuries in back-to-back year is the true definition of perseverance.”

Figueiredo believes that the key strength of this Chatham squad will be team chemistry.

“This is the most team-oriented group of players I’ve ever coached,” he said. “They all want to win, but more importantly, they all pull for each other to do well.”

While the team seems to be in good shape, there is certainly room for improvement. Figueiredo believes that above all else, the Lady Cougars must cut down on strikeouts in 2017.

“I thought we struck out too much last season,” he said. "We always talk about making teams make plays to beat us, and not giving other teams free outs.”

With an experienced lineup and good team chemistry, the Lady Cougars are ready to further improve on last year’s success, which included a trip to the Morris County Tournament final.

Chatham opens the season, 10 a.m. Saturday, April 1 when it plays host to Hunterdon Central.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Chatham

Upcoming Events

Wed, September 27

New York Botanical Garden, Bronx

Bus Trip to The Chilhuly Exhibit with Town & ...

Arts & Entertainment Home & Garden

Sat, October 7, 12:00 PM

Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center, Little Falls

Veterans Resource Fair

Education Giving Back Health & Wellness Other

Carousel_image_cc9ca88aa146d04ada18_prndtwtz_400x400

Sat, October 14, 10:00 AM

morristown

The Peck School - Admission Open House

A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, September 18 – Sunday, September 24, 2017

PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
By Galina Natenzon
Along with continuing and recurring programs, this week brings some new events coming to the library for the first time. On Monday we everyone interested in healthy and ethical eating to hear an educator from the Ethical Choices Program. Tuesday will see the opening event of “Trip Around the World”, a year-long program, started at grass roots ...

"It is Our Hope that all this Walking Will Lead to Talking"

September 19, 2017

Dear Editor:

As Mayor of Chatham Township I have made a concerted effort to increase awareness of suicide prevention. My interest in doing so stems from my early days on the Committee when I learned of a young father who died by suicide. While I did not know the individual, I committed myself, with the support of the Township Committee, to do whatever we could to help increase awareness of ...

Fed Keeps Rates Unchanged

September 21, 2017

September 20, 2017– September central bank meeting results in keeping rates unchanged and providing details and start date of the unwinding of Fed balance sheet.

“The announcement was pretty much as expected. Providing details of the specific amounts of asset sales was important. The transparency of this Fed and creating a “no surprises” environment gives market ...