Mercyhurst selects new softball coach

Jake Lowy photo: Leanne Baker was announced as the head Softball coach on Aug. 6, 2013.Jake Lowy photo: Leanne Baker was announced as the head Softball coach on Aug. 6, 2013.

Losing five seniors, four of whom were starters, and gaining a new coach could be a struggle for almost any team. The women’s softball team is ready to take on the challenge in this year’s 2013-2014 season.

With seven incoming players, the Lakers are looking forward to their season with the guidance of Leanne Baker, who was announced as the head softball coach on Aug. 6 by Mercyhurst University Director of Athletics Joe Kimball.

After serving as first baseman for Edinboro’s softball team for four years, Baker graduated from Edinboro University in 2007. She then continued her education at Edinboro’s graduate school, working as an assistant on the softball coaching staff.

Baker served as the head coach for Southern Vermont College for the past three years.

“I really like the position so far. It was overwhelming at first, but everyone has been very helpful, and the team of course helped me a lot as well,” Baker said.

During her time at Southern Vermont College, she led the Mountaineers to a school-record nine wins in 2013. In 2012, her softball team had three All-New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) players, setting another program high. Baker’s team was able to reach the NECC Team Sportsmanship Award in all three years of her coaching.

When asked about what she will be able to add to the team, Baker said, “I think I have a lot of mental training to offer the team. My physicality for the team is there, but I think I will be able to provide a great addition of mental strength as well.”

Baker is a two-time graduate of Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) with Edinboro University. She also was an All-PSAC West Second Team choice in 2006 for her team as well.

“I’m looking forward to being back to Erie again, being back in the PSAC and I’m very excited for the talent that we have on our team too,” Baker said.

With Dana Web as the assistant coach and Christy Janoske as a second year graduate assistant coach, the Lakers are looking forward to an exceptional season.

“I think with Christy’s knowledge and what Dana and I will bring to the table, we want to work to get to the PSAC Championship game and that is our ultimate goal of the year,” Baker said.

The Lakers are looking forward to their season that begins this spring 2014.