New coach hoping to instill winning ways

JOHNSONBURG – A new face is at the helm of the Johnsonburg softball program as first-year head coach Jenny Lewis hopes to build on last season's playoff appearance."I started teaching in Johnsonburg last year and I had helped some of the pitchers last year," Lewis said. "When the opening came up I thought I might as well use what I have and try to coach."A Brookville Area High School graduate, Lewis attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania and competed in softball at both the high school and collegiate levels. Her experience, she said, can be a double-edged sword."One challenge, it's the players' commitment levels," Lewis said. "At the level that I was playing, I wouldn't really miss for anything, so that's kind of hard. "The players have other obligations as well as softball but they are an extremely positive group of athletes, they have fun, pick each other up and they all get along."Coming off a recent 2-1 loss to Brockway, Lewis said her team has vast potential as evidenced by the close game with a quality opponent."Before that game, we were just giving up way too many runs," Lewis said. "Alexa Marciniak is a young and inexperienced pitcher, so the runs getting across is going to happen but she will improve. "Kiana [Myers] isn't overpowering so teams are going to be able to score some runs."At the plate, Lewis has some veteran softball players in Danie Jo Dwyer, Myers, Brittany Watts and Tommi Wildnauer, and she anticipates that the experience will pay off."As far as hitting is concerned, we're certainly happy with the runs that we're producing," Lewis said. "Our infield is pretty good, we struggled for a little but we've improved. Danie Jo Dwyer is behind the plate and she knows what she's doing, and she has a really strong arm. "In the outfield, we're letting some easy ones and some short ones fall, and maybe that's a lack of experience but we have to clean that up."