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Coach looking to bring continuity to Green softball program

6/6/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GREEN — First-year Green softball head coach Tom White said he is encouraged by the progress shown by the team this season.

“I think we made some huge strides as far as our mental approach to games and caring about each other as teammates and supporting each other — especially in the second half of the season,” he said. “The character, the hard work, the effort and the belief in themselves really grew as the season went along.”

According to White, the team finished with a 9-20 overall record and 3-11 mark in the Suburban League.

“It was definitely a rebuilding season,” he said. “I’m the third coach in the last three years. I was the assistant coach here for six years and left in 2006. I came back this year, and it’s definitely a different program than when I left. We were a perennial 20- to 25-win team then, but I came back to a 10-win team. But we’re trying to rebuild more than just the varsity program. We’re trying to rebuild the whole foundation of the program.”

White called himself an “aggressive coach” and said he hopes to have the team play a more aggressive style in the future.

“I definitely try to coach to the talent that I have and I couldn’t be as aggressive as I had hoped,” the coach stated. “Hitting-wise, a lot of the girls started feeding into the philosophy, and you could really see the improvement in some of the key players. Towards the end of the year, the players, and especially some of the underclassmen, began to buy into being positive and looking forward. We had a couple of walk-off wins towards the middle-end of the season, and really the girls started to get the feeling that they could come from behind.”

White said the team featured four returning starters this season. Those seniors, with comments on each by the coach, were:

  • Emily Howerton, second base: “She was our leadoff hitter and she had our top average at .391. She stole 18 bases and scored 24 runs. She really was our catalyst.”
  • Lexi Teodosio, shortstop: “She came up with some timely hits throughout the season. Her batting average was in the high .200s, somewhere between .280 and .290. She was a good team leader.”
  • Angela Ciocca, right fielder: “Angela struggled at the beginning of the year hitting but ended up raising her average from about .215 to a final average around .340. She really came on for us and came up with some clutch hits. She played a solid right field.”
  • Lexi Dannemiller, designated player: “She also caught a little bit and played some in the field at first base. She actually tied a modern day Green High School record with four home runs this year, and she hit those four home runs really in a five-game stretch. One was a grand slam. When she hit, she hit for power. And her leadership was very prominent. She got our ‘Character Counts’ award for the team.”

According to White, Green will return “a really solid core of starters” next season, including the team’s top two pitchers.

“[Abigail] Mowrer is a sophomore who pitches and also plays third base. She was probably our most productive player and team MVP. She had the second-best batting average and led us in RBIs. April Bennett was our other starter as a freshman. She ended up with a .320 batting average,” the coach said. “Both of them struggled at times pitching, but both were first-year starters, so it was a learning year for them.”

White said he and his coaching staff (varsity assistant Natalie Burch, junior varsity head coach Katie Shaw and junior varsity assistant coach Shannon Mariner) are looking forward to “bringing some continuity to the program.”

“We feel some continuity over the next year or two or three can bring this team back into prominence in the Suburban League and the Massillon District for Division I softball,” he said.

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