Albion softball has accent on youth

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 21 March 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – Veteran members of the Albion softball squad include, in front, Ashlee Bocach, Kelsee Soule and Kelsey Schmitt. In back are Meghan Hurley, Shannon Wells and Olivia Prest.

The accent is definitely on youth for the Albion varsity softball squad this season as underclassmen dominate the Purple Eagles roster heading into the Niagara-Orleans League campaign.

Outfielder Kelsey Schmitt, who earned N-O All-League honorable mention last spring, and first baseman Shannon Wells are the only seniors on the Purple Eagles roster which also includes three juniors and six sophomores.

Anchoring the Albion lineup is the veteran sophomore battery of pitcher Meghan Hurley and catcher Kelsee Soule, a three year varsity starter. Soule earned first team N-O All-League honors and Hurley was an honorable mention selection.

However, the rest of the Albion infield will have a new look due to graduation losses which include second team N-O All-League honorees shortstop Sarah Papponetti and third baseman Haley Jurs.

The infield looks to have Wells at first, sophomore Ashlee Bocach at second, sophomore Olivia Prest at shortstop and junior Michaela Lake at third. Sophomore Ellen Narburgh also looks for time at an infield spot.

The outfield also will have a largely new look to fill holes caused by the graduation of Allie O’Hearn, a second team All-League pick, and Tanisha Moyer, an honorable mention selection.

Juniors Savannah Allen, Andrea Aman and sophomore Ally Page are vying for time in the outfield with Schmitt.

“The young players we had last year had to step into key roles as freshmen and they are all back,” said Coach Gary Parisi of Bocach, Prest and Hurley. “And Kelsee Soule is also only a sophomore but this is her third year of varsity at catcher and Kelsey Schmitt played very well in the outfield for us last year.”

Albion, which went 7-7 in the league and 9-11 overall last spring, is scheduled to open the N-O campaign at home against Akron on April 2.

“We are just going to take it one day at a time and not worry about anything else,” said Parisi. “We can control how hard we work and how hard we try and that’s what we are focusing on.”

The Purple Eagles schedule is as follows:
March 29 – Batavia, 12 p.m.
April 2 – Akron, 4:45 p.m.
April 4 – at Barker, 4:45 p.m.
April 7 – Wilson, 4:45 p.m.
April 9 – CSAT, 4:45 p.m.
April 11 – Medina, 4:45 p.m.
April 14 – Lew-Port, 12 p.m.
April 16 – at Lockport, 12 p.m.
April 23 – at Roy-Hart, 4:45 p.m.
April 25 – Newfane, 4:45 p.m.
April 26 – Pittsford Mendon, 7:30 p.m.
April 28 – at Akron, 4:45 p.m.
April 30 – Barker, 4:45 p.m.
May 2 – at Wilson, 4:45 p.m.
May 7 – at CSAT, 4:45 p.m.
May 9 – at Medina, 4:45 p.m.
May 10 – at Pembroke Tournament, TBA
May 12 – Roy-Hart, 4:45 p.m.
May 14 – at Newfane, 4:45 p.m.