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As the new season has progressed, Ridgway softball is looking to lean on five seniors to help the Lady Elkers improve.
Ridgwayâ€™s seniors are Morgan Herzing, Sam Kovalyak, Sydney Kovalyak, Melissa Wehler and Ashley Viglione.
â€śWeâ€™re going to look to those five for senior leadership and step it up from what they did last year because a lot of them were successful last year,â€ť Ridgway coach Gary Gerber II said.
Herzing plays left field and pitches for Ridgway while Sam Kovalyak plays at first base. Sydney Kovalyak is the primary catcher for the Lady Elkers, Viglione is the center fielder and Wehler has been used in the infield at third and second base.
With the fielding, Gerber II is emphasizing team defense and eliminating errors.
â€śI just look for the consistency,â€ť Gerber II said. â€śAt the end of last year, we were starting to build that.â€ť
Gerber II said not giving away obvious outs will be a key to any sort of success.
â€śThatâ€™s with any team, you canâ€™t afford to give up extra outs, especially to the better teams,â€ť Gerber II said. â€śYou give them four or five outs, theyâ€™re going to capitalize on you. Stick to the three outs then come in and hit. We hit decently last year. We had a tough start with St. Marys.â€ť
Gerber II has a deep group of pitchers to choose from with Taylor Roseto, Jenna Hoffman, Herzing and Sierra Kos.
â€śWeâ€™re trying to build our pitching because in fast-pitch softball, thatâ€™s the key,â€ť Gerber II said.
On the hitting end, Gerber II wants the players to put the ball in play if nothing else.
â€śYou want to just put it in play, especially with two strikes,â€ť Gerber II said. â€śWe want to cut down on the strikeouts. Weâ€™re emphasizing hustling everything out. I think weâ€™ve upgraded as far as team speed. There seems to be more speed than in the past. Any time you can add speed into it, it puts more pressure on the defense.â€ť
Overall, Gerber II also wants the players to communicate better and work together as a team.
Gerber II is assisted on the coaching end by Rayna Valdez and Larry Imhof. Team members are Morgan Herzing, Melissa Wehler, Ashley Viglione, Sam Kovalyak, Sydney Kovalyak, Erika Morgan, Jenni Thomas, Elise Pura, Jenna Hoffman, Emily Pierce, Jill Gaio, Beth Renaud, Renee Catalano, Taylor Roseto, Katie Robuck, Sierra Kos, Alyssa Mitchell and Paige Grazioli.