First-year head softball coach Geoff Loiacono said he’s been pushing hard to get his team in shape and ready to play hard in spring 2011. They’re going to need to be ready. The Wasaren League is a tough place to play any sport.
Although the team is on the young side, with only one senior, the coach said he expects to be competitive despite a substantial graduation loss in an entire pitching battery.
“We lost some key players, Amber Goff and Chelsea Lyons, replacing them will be a huge ordeal,” he said.
Loiacono said he was really happy with work ethic the team has shown, with each player always asking for extra reps and pitches.
“We’re going to be young, but at the same time we’re going to be competitive due to the outstanding work ethic and athletic ability,” he said.
Off season workouts and training have helped the team to hone their various skills and allowed the coach to focus on refining different aspects of the game since the season started.
Assistant coach Jaime Graves is helping out a lot with the pitchers. “She’s amazing,” Liaccono said.
Asked where he expects the squad’s strengths to be, the coach had trouble choosing.
“I think we’re an all around team. We’re not dominant just at the pitching level, we’re not dominant just at the offensive level; we’re not dominant at the defensive level. I think we’re exceptional at everything every single aspect of the game,” Loiacono said.
Wins for the team will come from great pitching one day, he said, but the next time out the team might need to put up 10 runs or play great defense and not have any errors.
“If we put those together we’re going to be very good,” he said.
“I think it’s just going to be a particular day at a particular time it’s going to be what’s going to shine that day,” he said.
Loiacono said the coaches are using technology to help the players by videotaping swings and pitches, all aspects of the game that can be helped with watching film. Players are often surprised by what they see, particularly when it comes to swings, Loiacono said. “It’s a technique that’s used in college,” he said.
Loiacono assisted in the baseball team last season, but has many years of fast pitch softball experience and also played four years of college baseball at Oneonta.
“I know a little about the game and love the game – there’s a lot to learn, but I have a lot to offer,” he said.
With the tools the team has, Loiacono said he expects the team to be competitive in the league, so the team has an eye on a sectional shot.
“We’re going to have to play as a team to be competitive, especially in sectionals,” he said.
“We’re going to take it one game at a time, but we have high expectations,” he said.