MAHOPAC, N.Y.— When asked about team goals for this season, head softball coach Brian Hunt said that he wants to be successful in the playoffs.
Despite an under .500 campaign in 2015, the team made the Class AA playoffs only to lose in the first round. Mahopac will try to hit its way into the playoffs this year and make some noise when it gets there.
Hunt indicated that batting is the primary strength for this year’s group to achieve their goal of actually winning in the postseason.
“I think our chances of making and winning in the playoffs are quite high and definitely something we are capable of,” senior Carly Pease said. “Two years ago we didn’t even make the playoffs. Last year we lost our only playoff game, but now I believe this year we have a great chance of advancing further.”
Pease, an all-section team captain at third base, is expected to be an important cog in winning games for a Mahopac squad which features an abundance of younger players.
“Carly Pease has natural instincts and skill to make every play at third,” Hunt said. “Carly will be batting third with consistent contact as a line drive hitter.”
Captain and all-section honorable mention senior second baseman Raquel DiVincenzo is projected to make major contributions also.
“Raquel DiVincenzo will be leading off again with great speed and contact,” Hunt reminded.
Mahopac’s top two pitchers, senior Julia Walpole and sophomore Juliana DePinho will split time on the mound this year.
“They are both working hard and improving,” Hunt said.
Senior Olivia DiFusco will return to the outfield and sophomore Kim Astrologo will get the nod at shortstop.
Sophomores Madison DellaMedaglia and Beth Schum can both catch, but Schum will be taking over catching full-time this season. DellaMedaglia will be moved to first base after splitting time with Schum at catcher last year.
Fresh faces to this year’s squad include junior Alissa Copeland, who will try to make an impact while playing outfield. Amanda Virola will play both the outfield and infield this season for the Indians.
Pease believes that communication on the field will be critical to determining the success of the Indians this year.
“We have many great hitters on the team but definitely one of our weaknesses is lack of communication on the field, which is a problem for most teams,” Pease pointed out. “Even though I would say most of the team is comfortable with each other, we want everything to come second nature so everyone is on the same page.”
As for the meat of the lineup, following DiVincenzo will be Astrologo to bat second. Pease will follow her batting third. This year’s cleanup hitter will be Walpole.
“She has power to all fields and is a contact hitter,” Hunt said of Walpole.
DiFusco has good power and contact at the plate also.
“The team is working hard and we are looking to improve every day,” Hunt said. “We are very excited to begin our season.”
The Indians will open up the year at Brewster on Thursday, March 31 at 4:30 p.m.
“I would really love to go even further in the playoffs than we have in the past,” Pease expressed. “To wrap up my four years playing both basketball and softball at Mahopac, going the farthest I’ve ever gone with a team would be a great way to end my high school career.”