N-O softball season set to begin Wednesday

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 18 May 2021 at 1:43 pm

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Pitcher Leah Pritchard and her Albion teammates will open the league season at Barker on Wednesday.

Albion will visit Barker, Akron will host defending champion Roy-Hart and Newfane will visit rival Wilson to open the Niagara-Orleans League softball season on Wednesday afternoon with game times set for 4:45.

Medina, which draws the bye on Wednesday, will open the league season at Albion on Friday.

“We’re grateful and excited to have a season and look to make the most of the opportunity,” said new Albion Coach Sara Koppenhaver whose thoughts are no doubt being echoed by all area players and coaches after last year’s season was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Albion returns a veteran battery of junior pitcher Leah Pritchard and senior catcher Emani Poole and an experienced infield including senior first baseman Bryne Dysard, junior second baseman Kenzi Hapeman, sophomore shortstop Ryan Olles and junior third baseman Aly Knaak. Sophomore Maya Knaak also looks to help out with the pitching duties.

Barker is led by senior shortstop Sydnie Luckman, who earned first team N-O All-League honors as a sophomore in 2019, and senior pitcher Jessalynn Coen who was a second team selection.

Junior pitcher Reanna Perkins and senior catcher Shelby Wolf leads the way for Roy-Hart’s underclassmen dominated team. Wolf, in fact, is the only senior on the Lady Rams squad as several other players who were starters o the 2019 squad are not playing this season.

Junior pitcher Jenelle Kieffer, who earned second team All-League honors and senior first baseman Madison Henning, who was an Honorable Mention selection, lead the way for Akron which also returns experience in seniors Jesse Jonathan (second base), Jayni Sundown (third base) and Lydia Blueye (utility).

Junior Julia Dumais (catcher) who earned first team All-League honors heads the Newfane lineup while Wilson returns second team All-League selections Julia Faery (catcher) and Tori Pawlak (pitcher) along with Honorable Mention pick Alycia Thompson (first base), all seniors.

Medina is led by the veteran senior trio of shortstop Hannah Kenward, first baseman Brooklyn Brown and infielder Paige Adkins. Junior Faith Oberther has handled the pitching chores in the Mustangs non league contests.

Final 2019 N-O Standings: Roy-Hart 12-0, Akron 9-3, Medina 8-4, Wilson 7-5, Albion 4-8, Barker 1-11, Newfane 1-11.