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Sports

Revere softball team pleased with team’s progress

4/10/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

BATH — Now in her third year as the Revere High School softball head coach, Gina Hartranft said she is pleased with the progress being made by the team during her time in charge.

“Our biggest things with the girls have been to work on attitude and effort, because those are the two things they can control,” she said. “We stress that every day in practice and they’ve bought into that philosophy. They know that’s the thing that is going to make them successful. It worked last year, and now they know what is expected.”

In 2013, Revere made it to the sectional finals and finished third in the Suburban League with a 9-5 mark. The team compiled a 15-12 overall record last year after finishing 7-19 in 2012 with a 1-13 league record.

The coach said her goal this year is to improve even further.

“That’s the plan,” she said. “We would like to win at least as many games this year as we did last year — if not more. We lost a couple of kids last year that were really valuable, but we feel like we added a couple of kids this year that are going to be able to keep us on track and have that kind of season.”

According to Hartranft, Revere features seven returning varsity players and “some talented young freshman” this season.

Leading the way are the seniors (including comments by the coach): Kaylyn Roose, a four-year starting catcher and University of Michigan-Dearborn commit who is a “great all-around athlete and leader; Marissa Staats, who is a “great hitter and another leader for the team”; right-fielder Nicole Heckman, who is a “great lefty hitter with power”; center-fielder Hailee Zendlo, who “plays the outfield really well and knows where to be at all times”; and pitcher Lauren Weidinger, who currently is injured “but is supporting the team and being a leader.”

“I have a really good senior class,” Hartranft stated. “There are a lot of leaders and a lot of kids stepping up.”

The team’s other returning varsity players this season are junior Demi Boyazis and sophomore Hailey Hujer.

“Demi is a returning pitcher who has a competitive edge and carried us last year at the end,” the coach said. “Hailey Hujer, who plays shortstop and third base, is a great athlete with a strong arm and a solid bat.”

Boyazis will combine this season with sophomore Dana Weidinger to form the team’s core pitching staff.

“Dana Weidinger will be a great addition to our team. She throws hard and has a good bat,” Hartranft stated. “I think both pitchers are going to work really well together. They really complement each other. Dana is throwing really hard. She just needs to work on her control, but it’s getting better. Demi has a really fierce attitude, and she’s never afraid to compete. It’s nice to have two really good pitchers you can rely on.”

At the plate, Hartranft said her team features a “strong one-through-nine lineup.”

“We have great chemistry,” she said. “This whole group of girls has been working together in the offseason, and I am expecting us to not skip a beat from last season. I think we can be pretty powerful when we’re all on and hitting.”

Hartranft said the team’s realistic goals for this season are to compete for a league title and to get to the district finals.

“We are in a very tough Suburban League. Almost every single team is tough,” she said. “You have to be on your ‘A game’ every time you come to play. I think the biggest thing for us is that we won’t sneak up on anybody in the league this year, because we did so well last year. But if we play at our best, I think we will be very competitive and can beat just about any team in the Suburban League.”

The key to success this season, Hartranft said, is making sure her team plays “consistent softball.”

“For us to be successful, we must work together as a team,” she stated. “We need to make sure we are doing all the little things right that we stress in practice every day. We need to be aggressive and attack the ball. We must always control our attitude and our effort. If we do all of those things consistently, we will be a very good softball team.”

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