For the first time in his 10 seasons as coach, Roger Harris and his Pennsylvania College of Technology women’s softball team will go to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for spring training and he couldn’t be more delighted.
“I look at it as a very positive thing because it gives us the opportunity to go down there and play a few games and allow us to figure out our batting lineup, see what we have and make adjustments. Hopefully we can come back and start the season with a lot of the adjustments under our belts,” Harris said. “Also, I look at it as a recruiting tool for the girls to go down there, play a few games and have a good time.”
The Wildcats open their season Monday with games against Bluefield College and Randolph College. They have six other games scheduled during the week, in preparation for their home opener March 19 at Elm Park against Lehigh Carbon Community College.
Key returnees include Erin Bannon (junior/Williamsport) at first base, Tiffany Deihm (junior/Mohnton) pitching, Michelle Goodling (sophomore/Renovo) at second base, Lacy Lose (sophomore/Avis) pitching, Trisha Moser (senior/Watsontown) catching and Stacey Rupp (junior/Gettysburg) at third base.
Also expected to start or see considerable playing time are Amanda Baney (sophomore/Williamsport) at shortstop, Alison Beitz (freshman/Millville) in the outfield, Jessica Bower (freshman/Jersey Shore) catcher, Desiree Buffington (sophomore/Pillow) in the outfield, Amber Eck (sophomore/Williamsport) at second base, Lindsey Lose (freshman/Avis) at third base, Kelsie Witmer (freshman/Centre Hall) at first base and outfielders Holly Raybuck (sophomore/Bellefonte), Dana Ritter (freshman/Walden, N.Y.) and Amanda McCoy (junior/Williamsport).
Rounding out the squad are freshmen Jordan Harris (Irvine, Calif.), Chelsea Hewitt (Shippensburg), Brittany Hoey (East Stroudsburg), Brittany Hoffman (New Columbia), Megan Hoffman (Bernville), Marissa Player (Albion), Amanda Reedy (Burnham) and sophomore Katherine Wylezik (Bernville).
“Offensively, we’ve got more speed this year. We still have girls with incredible power, but we also have some with incredible speed. If we get the girls in the right (batting) order, I expect to be very strong,” Harris said. “Defensively, once adjustments are made, I think we’ll be very, very strong.”.
Penn College finished 14-13 overall last season and was third in the Penn State University Athletic Conference. Harris expects more this year.
“I look for us to be very strong and very competitive. I look for us to go back into the playoffs again and, with the speed we have, I think we can get to nationals (United States Collegiate Athletic Association) this year,” the coach said. “We’re all very excited.”