One of the most successful teams at Woodland, is the softball team. The Hawks have made it to the state tournament since 2003. With Coach Luddy at the helm, the team looks to take a trip to the state tournament for the fifteenth straight year. After a .500 season (10-10), Woodland will look to be at the top of the NVL once again.
The softball team lost three major seniors last year; Cam Caswell, Carla Piccolo, and Sam White. Cam Caswell was the varsity shortstop last year. Without these three seniors, more opportunities will open up for underclassmen to make an impact on the Hawks’ season.
Caswell was known for her nifty glove up the middle and always diving for plays to save runs and get an out. Caswell was also a key bat in the lineup and a reliable player to come through with an RBI.
Carla Piccolo was the top centerfielder last season. As center fielder, she was one of the fastest on the team and was able to cover a lot of ground to track down fly balls. Being one of the leaders on the team last year, the Hawks will be looking for a new senior to step into a leadership role.
Sam White was the left fielder, for the most part, but she was also able to play different positions on the field. Sam was a versatile player who was able to play different positions on the field. Without White’s versatility and ability to play different positions, Coach Luddy will look to her bench to gain more playing time.
The Hawks will already be down one key player this year in senior, Maddie Hupprich. After suffering a torn labrum last summer, Hupprich will be having surgery the end of March. Hupprich played through the injury during volleyball and basketball, but her doctor has recommended surgery and sit out during softball. WIth Hupprich out, Steph Krebbs is the early favorite to replace her at shortstop.
Even though it sounds like a lot of empty holes to fill, the Hawks have several seniors that will be leaders on this team. Emily Brouillette is the only senior, besides Maddie Hupprich, who will play their fourth year on the varsity squad. Brouillette has been very reliable behind the dish and looks to continue her success at catcher. She will also be a valuable, experienced bat in the middle of the lineup.
Many seniors saw their varsity careers start last season as juniors. Meredith Dyckman will be a sure starter in the outfield at the start of this season. With a cross country background, Dyckman will look to track down anything that comes her way in the outfield
Jen Triana had the opportunity to pitch a few games last season. She will most likely get the nod for the majority of the games this season. In addition to her, Coach Luddy will also be looking to junior, Ivy Geloso to burn a eat a few innings on the mound as well. Since the team plays a few games a week, other players will earn an opportunity to pitch as well to give the previously mentioned players a rest.
Other seniors on this squad consist of Rita Plante and Lindsey Gabianelli. Both of these players saw time at the varsity level last year. However, each are predicted to start for their senior year. Plate will add a good bat in the lineup to score runs when they are needed. Meanwhile, Gabianelli will most likely be the second baseman for the Hawks on opening day.
The remainder of the positions on the field will be left open to underclassmen. In addition, to Geloso and Krebbs, Brianna Vallejo will be on the field opening day as well. Vallejo will start her first stint at the varsity level this year. She will likely get the nod to be at the hot corner this season. However, there are still some other spots open that Coach Luddy will have to fill.
This is a younger team than the Hawks have had in the past. Having said that, they are just as hungry for victory than any other team that has stepped on the field. With one of their key players out, other members will have to contribute to the team and carry them to the states. For both the baseball team and softball team, there is not one key solid player the lineup will rely on. Instead, they will be looking from contributions up and down the lineup to keep the order going.
“I think we can be over .500 this year. We have very positive attitudes and all genuinely want to win. As long as we all play like I know we can, we should be fine,” commented Hupprich on the upcoming season.