Softball aims high for '08

The Geneseo women's softball team is ready to kick off another season of action on the diamond. The Lady Knights are coming off of a 2007 season in which the team finished 19-20 and made the SUNYAC playoffs.

Replacing last year's seniors: Since last year, the team has lost some veteran leaders, most notably pitcher Audrey Kuhn.

"They will be missed, but we have to move on," said head coach Tony Ciccarello. "That's part of coaching. Other people step up."

To help fill the void left by last year's seniors, the team's captains, juniors Kerry Kuhn and Nickie Steger and senior Kristen Newton, are ready to step up and lead the team.

Leaders on the pitching staff: The pitching staff this season will be anchored by Kuhn and junior Lindsay Norton, as well as sophomore Kristin Carroza. Kuhn led the team with nine wins and four shutouts last season, and Norton posted the team's lowest ERA (2.49). In seven appearances, Carroza contributed a win and a save, finishing the season with a 2.62 ERA.

Movement in the infield: For the infield, Ciccarello has shifted some of his personnel around. Sophomore Caiti Caputo will move from third base to shortstop, and taking her place at third base will be sophomore Sam Chin. Junior Sara Weisenborn returns to play second base, and first base will be occupied by Kerry Kuhn, sophomore Christina Gephardt and freshman Megan Pogemiller. Rounding out the infield, junior Liz Squairs returns as the team's starting catcher.

Consistency in the outfield: The outfield will be solidified by the return of last year's starters: Newton, Steger and sophomore Jackie Davey. Newton, playing center field, led the team with a .355 average and drove in 36 runs last year. Steger hit .333 and her .500 slugging percentage was second on the team. Davey, a solid 93 percent fielder, hit .351 and notched 12 RBIs in 2007.

Continued improvement: The team is anxious for the season to start, but the players understand the need to stay focused if they are to improve on last season's record and make the playoffs again this year.

"To improve our record I think we are going to have to be more aggressive offensively," said Kuhn.

"Just talent isn't going to win games, they need to play as a team," said Ciccarello. "We're not living on last year, we're moving on."