Thursday, April 11, 2013

Some extras from Canon-Mac softball's 7-0 win

In Friday's Observer-Reporter, you will read plenty about the hot-hitting Canon-McMillan lineup, specifically catcher/right fielder Abby McCartney and third baseman Olivia Lorusso.

McCartney and Lorusso hit back-to-back home runs in the third inning of a 7-0 win for the Big Macs, turning a close game into a rout with two swings of the bat.

This was my first time watching Canon-Mac softball, and I couldn't have been more impressed with these two; smooth, powerful swings for the both of them. Yes, a very good team as a whole. Alayna Astuto threw a gem. Tara Fowler had three hits. But McCartney hit a ball as hard as anyone I've seen lately.

"Abby McCartney was a freak of nature," Canon-McMillan coach Michele Moeller said. "She’s the first freshman I’ve had who has come out and led the team in batting. She told me that last year and said, ‘I want to be the leading hitter.’ And I thought, ‘That’s nice. I want you to do it.’ But that does take some maturity, too."

McCartney led Canon-McMillan in batting (.507), slugging (.934) and doubles (12) last spring. She also earned all-state honors as a right fielder, but recently switched to catcher because of a shoulder injury to Giorgiana Zeremenko.

Here's an interesting tidbit I picked up: Though Zeremenko is injured, she's still calling pitches for Astuto.

Kudos to Moeller for allowing this. In my opinion, far too often you see coaches afraid to entrust players with calling pitches. I know I always lobbied to have that freedom when I played, and I think today's catchers should get the same right.

Not all coaches agree with that, and I understand the reasons. I just don't agree. Here's what Moeller had to say on letting Zeremenko call her own game, even if it's from the bench:

"(Zeremenko) is a smart ballplayer," Moeller said. "It's their game. We don't get to go out there and play. I want them to take ownership of it.

"Plus, her being able to do that gives her some incentive; she's still in there fighting with them every game, too."

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