Still in the midst of an unprecedented youth movement, the Huntington girls’ softball team hopes to turn a competitive corner this spring.
The Blue Devils feature freshmen at four infield positions and the 10 player roster also includes three sophomores. It’s a very young team, but longtime head coach John Walsh thinks his squad can be competitive overall.
Huntington has struggled in recent years, but Walsh, assistant coach Jim Byrnes and junior varsity coach Maria Canino believe the Blue Devils are only going to get better this spring.
Senior Sarah Grassi is set to pace Huntington’s youthful team. The teenager is the Blue Devils’ catcher and field general. Handling every pitch as flawlessly as possible, swinging a big bat and providing leadership will be just three of the veteran player’s duties.
Sophomore Maya DelGiudice is Huntington’s pitcher. The teenager has worked hard in the offseason, training to sharpen her delivery and pinpoint her pitches. “Maya is in her second year as our main starter,” Walsh said.
It’s typical for a high school softball pitcher to be on the mound for every game so DelGiudice is one of Huntington’s most important players. “Our team is working hard with the benefit of the experience we gained last year, I think it will be a good season,” she said.
Huntington’s infield will showcase freshmen Alexandra Gerbavsits, Anna Wickey, Isabella Toscano and Megan Byrnes. Junior Jocelyn Gray and sophomore Morgan Minicozzi will lead the outfield. Sophomores Nina Danseglio and Erin Bonitz are expected to fill specialized roles as needed. “Our defense should be strong,” Walsh said.
Harsh winter weather has prevented the team from practicing outdoors on many days. Frigid temperatures and snow kept the Blue Devils in the school gym. A non-league game at Harborfields scheduled for Monday of this week was postponed.
“We have a small and young roster, but they are hard workers who want to compete,” said Walsh about his players.
Huntington will play games against Eastport-South Manor, Bellport, West Babylon, Copiague, Kings Park, Deer Park, Newfield, North Babylon, West Islip, Hauppauge, East Islip, Centereach, Smithtown West, Half Hollow Hills West and Smithtown East. The Blue Devils will face Bellport, Hills West, West Islip and Deer Park in home and away games.