HARVARD — Veteran Bromfield softball coach Sue Silver will be dealing with a young team this season, but those youngsters combined with some key veteran returnees have created optimism as the season opener approaches.
“I’m excited about the season,” said Silver. “I think we are better this year. We have some experience, the kids are physically stronger, and I think we will be more competititive. Our goal is to hang in games and to be more consistent defensively. Offensively, we have to find ways to get on base more often. If we are smart at the plate it will lead to more offensive production.”
The experience is keyed by a pair of captains, senior third baseman-centerfielder Kailey Nelson and junior shortstop Julia Vasta.
“Kailey is a four-year starter,” said Silver. “She plays strong defense and has a decent arm. Offensively, she has a quick bat and knows how to get on base. She will be a table setter at the top of the lineup and provides us with a stolen base threat with her speed. She brings a lot of experience to both the offense and defense.
“Julia will be starting for the third season,” said Silver. “She has been a MidWach D All-Star the past two seasons and is a very fundamentally sound defensive player. She makes the routine plays and is our defensive glue. She is a line-drive hitter and will bat third. Julia is very quiet and leads by example.”
Junior Maddy Pesa will start at either second or third base.
“Maddy came off the bench last season and has varsity experience,” said Silver. “She has a positive attitude that is infectious and she is very much a team player.”
Sophomores who will be starting include catcher Brittany Lee, first baseman Nicole Messcher and outfielder Rachel Srathdee.
“Brittany has a great attitude and does whatever is asked or needed,” said Silver. “She has power and will be our number-four hitter. She has a strong arm, works hard and wants to improve.
“Nicole has a good glove and provides experience,” said Silver. “She is working hard to improve as a hitter but she could provide some power for us.
“Rachel is experienced, has a great attitude and is working hard and improving,” said Silver.
The freshmen contingent is led by Janet Sorrells, who returns as the team’s number one pitcher, and centerfielder Jackie Lee, who is up from the middle-school team.
“Janet worked all winter and has improved,” said Silver. “She has more speed and control and increased confidence. She has also added a change-up. It is nice to have someone on the mound with a year of varsity experience under her belt.
“Jackie is athletic, fast and has a good arm,” said Silver. “She has a chance to be outstanding if she remains focused and she can be a big factor for us. She could bat in the top five in the lineup and she could be the key to the team.”
A trio of freshmen have a chance to make an impact — first baseman-outfielder Hailey Newsham, third baseman-outfielder Olivia Rooney, and second baseman-outfielder-pitcher Robin Verheyen.
“Those three are equal at this time,” said Silver. “They all have a chance to contribute and are potential starters.”
Looking to create a niche are sophomores Myjorie Philippe, an outfielder, and second baseman-outfielder Karen Shaw, who are both working hard.
“I like what I have seen so far,” said Silver. “It is important that we stay healthy. I also are very pleased with the coaching staff we have in place, including junior varsity coach Jen Flynn, middle- school coach Becca Newsham, and Kim Miurphy and Pat Nelson, who are helping with the varsity. They are an easy group to work with. Having them around the pre-season practices has allowed us to spend more time with the players, and that is important when the team is so young.”