Baseball and softball ready

Daniel Leonard, Staff writer

As winter melts away and the spring leaves begin to grow, the Mercyhurst baseball and softball teams will climb out of the dugout for the 2018 season.

In the period between last year’s season, a number of seniors on both the baseball and softball team have graduated.  This is leaving each team with the challenge to makeup for losses in their lineup while preparing for the upcoming season.  “Cam Balego, Chris Gonzalez and Sabatino DiNardo III are big losses in our lineup from last year,” said senior Andrew Ciolli. “Transfers such as Kenny Robinson (North East) and Alex O’ Donnell (Canisius) will help fill the void.”

With several of the players hoping to pursue a career in baseball after graduation, the team’s goal to play in the College World Series hasn’t shifted a bit.

“This year’s freshman class is one of the deepest and most talented in my four years as a Laker,” said Ciolli. “All members of the class will eventually be starters over the course of their careers. The team’s strength is definitely going to be in the pitching staff.”  If anything, the need to makeup for their losses in the lineup has revealed some new potential and already existing strengths.
On the softball side, a similar picture is painted.

“Our pitching staff will be used a lot this season, said softball head coach Leanne Baker. “Each pitcher brings something different to the staff.”  Baker is entering her fifth season as the coach for the Lakers.  “We gained five freshmen who are looking to get better and play at a higher level,” said senior Arainna Brone. “Sarah Koscho is a freshman that stands out. She’s got a great bat and an amazing arm. I got money on her this year to really stand out.”

Overall, both teams look like they are headed for a promising season.

Baseball is already 2-0, and softball is looking ahead after being shut out in the Snowbird tournament on Feb. 16-17.  “The team atmosphere is very relaxed and unified,” said sophomore Meredith Grimes. “We cheer for each other on the field and are best friends off the field.”

It won’t be until mid-March when the Lakers return to campus, as the teams’ schedules keep them out and away from Erie and the cold weather.  Look for baseball on March 23 and softball on March 25 up on the Mercyhurst baseball field.  Baseball will play California University of Pennsylvania and softball, Malone University.