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Coventry softball coach working on strengthening team

3/27/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

COVENTRY — Head coach Lisa Andrews said this year’s Coventry softball team will work on strengthening its strengths.

“This year, we want to focus and improve on the things we do really well,” she said. “We have a lot of girls with speed and strength, and we are going to use those to our advantage.”

Five seniors graduated following the 2013 season, but Andrews said this year’s team will feature a good number of upperclassmen who are ready to step up and try to replace that lost experience.

“This year, we are fielding two freshmen, one sophomore, six juniors and three seniors,” she noted.

The seniors on Coventry’s 2014 squad are Amber Thacker, Tyler Angle and Becky Smith.

“All three are returning varsity players,” the coach said. “Amber will return as our starting catcher, Tyler will be at first base and Becky will be play infield and outfield for us this year. All three players have great speed on the bases and will be great assets on the field and at the plate.”

According to Andrews, junior Olivia Williamson will be a key player for this year’s squad at third base.

“Olivia has the best reaction time and defensive skills of anyone in the area,” the coach said. “She will stop anything that comes her way. Olivia will also be a big part of our lineup with all that she can do with her bat and her speed.”

On the mound, sophomore pitcher Katelynn Harrison will look to lead Coventry with another strong season.

“She is coming off an accomplished freshman year on the mound. She throws extremely hard and has worked on her ball movement during the offseason. She will be a huge part of the team as a leader on the mound for us,” Andrews said. “We have two pitchers, Katelynn and Anne Marie Blankenship. They both have their own style. Kate is a power pitcher and Anne has great movement and ball control. Both of these girls will have a significant time on the mound.”

In addition, Andrews said, Harrison is adept with the bat and will make an impact on offensive for the team.

“Katelynn is also a force at the plate and is looking to increase the six home runs she hit last year,” the coach stated.

On the whole, Andrews said, this year’s batting lineup for Coventry features “an interesting mix of speed and power.”

“We are going to use those abilities and hopefully make them work to our advantage while we are at the plate and on the bases,” she said. “This year, we have a unique group of girls. We have speed and power on the bases, and a very solid infield. Our greatest strength should be our ability to adjust and play to any situation we might see on the field.”

Andrews is in her first year as the Coventry softball head coach after spending the last two seasons as the team’s assistant varsity coach. Her assistant coach is Megan Hutnick.

Last season, Coventry lost its first-round tournament game to Archbishop Hoban High School.

“It was a really tough loss,” Andrews said.

With Coventry’s 2014 season scheduled to get underway April 1 at 5 p.m. at Northwest High School, Andrews said one of her team’s goals is to make some noise in the postseason.

“We would like to stay above .500 for the season,” Andrews said. “We would also like to make it past our second-round tournament game. We have been so close, but just can’t seem to finish. The girls always make this as a goal for the team.”

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