Griffins get ready to kickoff 2013 season
After much training indoors, fundraising maxed out and only one day in the dirt, the Fontbonne women's softball team finally looks to begin the 2013 campaign in Columbus, GA at the Natioan Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Invitational. The Griffins scheduled start was last weekend at the Lindenwood Round Robin but snow and chilling temperatures forced the tournament to be cancelled.
Heading into this season the question for the 2013 team, can younger players take on the responsibility and bridge the gap without tightening up? With those pivotal positions no longer filled, now has never been a more crucial time for the team to step it up, stay on track and keep moving forward.
Sophomore Shannon Fitzpatrick leads the way for the Griffins sophomore class with outstanding outfield play and a tremendous ability to get on base. She has great speed and a good arm and Coach Rosner expects her do what he loves best; run, run, run. Twin powers, Danni and Cassi Glixman, come back from huge seasons last year. Leaving last year in the past Coach Rosner is confident they will again be tremendous threats in the middle of our lineup.
"They hit for average, they hit for power all while bringing some nice soft hands on the defensive side of the ball," Coach Rosner said.
Jessie Pratt returns from 2012 with some valuable playing experience at all positions. IF Coach Rosner can get her an inning on the mound, she'll be able to play them all for Fontbonne. Alexis Stankovich also comes back this season following some extended playing opportunities at middle infield. Unfortunately, she has just been released from off season surgery and is rapidly working to get up to game speed.
Leading the freshmen will be P Madi Leonard. It is a huge relief when you get a P like Madi to commit to your program because she can take it in the same direction as her wicked rise ball…UP. In a perfect world, Leonard would have had a year to learn the ropes under Senior Von Beheren, but our cards weren't dealt that hand so she'll have to jump in and get both feet wet.
Another player looking to support the Griffins in the circle is P Lindsay Schaefer. Lindsay is growing as a pitcher and learning the corner positions. She brings a big bat with her and has had a great winter working out and earned innings for this program. We added outfield play with Caitlin Nappier, Jackie Linck, Courtney Kraus and Morgan Baer. Coach Rosner watched Caitlin all last season with the Fusion Gold get timely hits. She is taking on the OF spot after most of her career at 2B. Nappier brings good speed great work ethics and has a passion for what she is doing.
Jackie brings a LH slapper to the lineup and Coach Rosner is excited to for her to execute in a tough situation. She too is recently released from surgery and working to get to game speed at a very rapid pace. Courtney is one of the hardest workers. She has passion for every effort she makes whether it is hitting, fielding or throwing and she doesn't like to lose.
Morgan, like other younger players is learning the ropes. She is going to provide good innings for the team as an outie or as a catcher. Lastly, Emily Smith gets to fill the shoes from Samantha Rosner. She has worked hard and has earned the starting position behind the plate. Since her arrival she has improved tremendously on throwing, bat speed and athleticism. She takes whatever we throw at her and gets better. She is going to have to carry a heavy load, but has already shown this winter she can handle it for WE.
The Griffins first game is Friday at 2pm against Gustavous Adolphus College in the NFCA Lead-Off Classic. The game can be heard online by clicking here.