Tonawanda News

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April 10, 2013

2013 North Tonawanda softball preview

Tonawanda News — New North Tonawanda softball coach Samantha Rajski has done it all on the softball diamond. 

The former Frontier standout, who helped lead the Falcons to the Section VI AA championship and to states her senior season, brings a winning pedigree to a NT softball team that failed to win a single game last season.

Rajski, who played college softball at St. Bonaventure, said that despite the struggles in the past she is optimistic about this season.

"I didn't want them to dwell on last year," she said. "We (feel like we've already) really turned things around and we try to be very positive. They're learning so much. I think we'll be in the right mind frame to go out and compete with these teams."

The Lady Jacks, who opened their season with a 16-4 loss to Newfane on Tuesday, are led by senior pitcher Kelsey Ross, who teams with catcher Lyssa Carlson to form a dynamic pitcher-catcher combination.

Ross has aspirations of playing college softball and Rajski said Carlson's ability to manage Ross on the hill really helps to keep her calm.

"Kelsey is a crazy young girl," Rajski said. "She is always laughing, smiling and having fun, but she is very serious and hard-working. She is a great student-athlete in what I've seen from her. She is very involved in the school. She has great grades and she is setting her goals high for college, which I think is awesome. She's definitely a leader and someone to look up to."

Leading the offensive attack is Amber Schmigel, who will hit clean up for Rajski. The senior has a lot of power and knows the game well, Rajski said. 

Sara Bunker will lead off in the designated hitter spot, Amanda Szynkowski will hit second and play center field and sophomore Heather Fontana will move back to her natural position at shortstop after playing last season in the outfield because of an arm injury.

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