Tonawanda News

Local Sports

April 5, 2011

Allen, Lady Warriors ready to battle

— — The 2011 Tonawanda girls softball team is comprised of seven seniors and six juniors.

Yet the lone eighth grader on the roster is poised to be the difference maker for the Lady Warriors this season.

Returning Tonawanda News first-teamer Rachel Allen is slated to be the Lady Warriors’ ace this season, and coach Jay Hall is expecting good things from the right hander.

“She won six games last year,” said Hall of Allen, who tossed a no-hitter and had 62 strikeouts as a seventh grader. “She’s been working hard with a private pitching coach that she worked with all winter.

“What I see so far is that she has a couple more pitches, she’s a lot stronger and faster, and I have all the confidence in her to do her job,” he continued. “The kids are behind her, too. They believe in her.”

Hall said the senior and junior-laden team will only benefit Allen in the long run.

“In a way it’s nice because the seniors have played a few years and they know how to pick her up and help her up,” he said. “With a good offense behind her, she’ll do fine.”

The long-time Tonawanda coach said his squad’s hitting is going to be key because defensively he expects to be pretty solid all-around, despite losing departing seniors Samantha Dayton at shortstop and Meghan Kossow behind the plate.

Kossow’s backup from a year ago, Danielle Tyler, will assume the position behind the dish, while Tina Partridge will move from first base to shortstop to fill the void left by Dayton.

Senior Elissa Hall, who was voted team captain along with Tyler, will play second base, while Cassie Marcaccio and Cayla Galus will form two-thirds of the outfield.

Others expected to fill out the roster include Carissa Stuart, Joanna McCarthy, Becca Warthling and Becca Casal, to name a few.

“We’ve got the making of a nice squad,” Hall said. “Again, it’s going to depend on the eighth grader (Allen).”

The top of the lineup will consist of Galus, who’s speed and contact will be used as the leadoff hitter, followed by Hall — the coach’s daughter — at the No. 2 spot, followed by Partridge, Casal, Tyler and Stuart to round out the heart of the order.

Hall added that he hopes his squad can compete with the likes of Eden, Cleveland Hill and John F. Kennedy.

Last season the Lady Warriors’ campaign was cut short in a 10-5 loss to Lackawanna in the Section VI Class B prequarterfinals.

“We’ll be right up there,” he said. “We’ll be in the mix.”

Contact sports editor Brandon Koch at 693-1000, ext. 117.

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