The Cranston West softball team made some noise last year, fighting through multiple injuries to finish with an 11-5 record and advancing to the Division I postseason.
The Lady Falcons return the large majority of its roster this season, and have been handed a clean bill of health heading into the 2019 campaign. West coach Jeff Smith is excited to see the amount of experienced ball players in the lineup.
“We’ve had a great spring so far. We have some new kids, we’ve had a lot of kids come back, they all worked hard during the winter time and came ready to play. It’s a veteran group, six or seven of our starters were starters last year while the others were in the mix to start. It’s very much an experienced squad coming back,” said Smith.
Smith believes that the biggest strength, along with experience, will be the team’s pitching and middle infield.
“(Experience) is a big plus for them, they’ve had plenty exposure in varsity games in Division I. I’d say our biggest strength starts up the middle with Livia Feole, she’ll be our ace, she brings a big bat and can also play first base. At bat we have Emily Durigan who is a bona fide Division I, Division II talent as a sophomore. Olivia Conti is our captain along with Julia Hazian who plays second base, Olivia plays shortstop and brings a lot of experience as well,” said Smith.
Although Division I boasts a loaded lineup, and will be a dog fight throughout the regular season for standing position, Smith and company expect to have another successful year and to make it to RIC in June.
“There are a lot of well-coached, experienced teams in Division I. Teams like Pilgrim, Coventry, Prout, Chariho, North Kingstown, East Providence, there are a lot of teams that have had success in the past and always come back ready to play,” said Smith. “Our goal is to go to Rhode Island College, that’s our goal every year, that’s been the mantra since day one.”
Other members of the 2019 Falcons are Megan Anderson, Emma Petrucci, Rylie Bessette, Izzy Baffoni, Brenna Whittaker, Caitlin Lopez, Lauren Foley, Sophia DiPippo and Mackenzie Bessette.