By ALEX SPONSELLER After missing the 2020 spring season due to the pandemic, the Cranston West softball team is set to return to the diamond and compete for a Division I championship. The Lady Falcons boast one of the strongest cores in the state with
By ALEX SPONSELLER After missing the 2020 spring season due to the pandemic, the Cranston West softball team is set to return to the diamond and compete for a Division I championship.
The Lady Falcons boast one of the strongest cores in the state with four senior captains. Multiple players will be playing college ball next season ranging from Division III up to Division I.
The club scrimmaged visiting Pilgrim on Monday afternoon in preparation for the opener on Friday, and so far so good with the returning team.
“It’s been a big adjustment for the kids, but most of the kids played in the fall and did workouts in the winter. It will be an adjustment for all schools, but they seem to be doing OK so far. The seniors have done a great job so far and saw what happened to the seniors last year in not having a season, so they are not taking it for granted,” said West coach Jeff Smith.
Smith has been impressed with his senior captains and the leadership they have shown in the early going as the Falcons get back in the swing of things.
“We’re going to be led by Sophia DiPippo and Brenna Whittaker who will both be on the mound. We’ll also be led by senior captain Emily Durigan behind the plate. Sophia is a power pitcher, Brenna is a well-rounded pitcher, both of them will switch off at first base as well. Emily Durigan has a real strong bat and will be in the 3-spot. The three of them along with Emma Petrucci, they’ve done a great job and have brought some great energy to the team this year,” Smith said. “Ava Brandow and MacKenzie Bessette are also leaders for us, both are really smart kids that have good bats.”
Although West will be leaning on its upperclassmen, it has already seen some underclassmen emerge and compete for starting positions. Smith is confident in the team’s depth and the talent that the youngsters can provide on the back half of the lineup.
“Sophia Crudale has shown great poise and will start at shortstop. Emily Bessette came to tryouts leaning toward outfield, but in a short time has locked up second base.They’re doing really well together. Rounding out the infield are two talented freshmen in Sam Healy and Ylime Torres, they’ll be splitting time at third but can play multiple positions. Emily Eastman and Cadence Koenig will fill out the outfield positions, while Gabby Cunha and Paige Cote are really competitive and we will be throwing them in the mix as well,” Smith said.
As always, Division I will be one of the most competitive groups in the region, featuring teams like West, Pilgrim and La Salle. The bar has been set high at West considering the talent of the roster, and the Falcons expect to be right in the mix down the stretch.
“I would say that this is one of the best teams that West has put out, but they will have to produce,” said Smith. “With that responsibility comes the need to meet their potential and show it on the field. This is potentially a great, talented group of kids.”