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The St. Marys Area Lady Dutch softball team has six letter winners returning to form the nucleus of the 2011 squad.
The Lady Dutch, who won the District 9 Class AA title last year, will be competing for the Class AAA title this season.
â€śWe are returning our pitching staff from last year and also return six varsity letter winners from last year. We have a good core group returning and our coaching staff has now been together for a couple of years, and that is key to sustaining the growth of the program,â€ť said St. Marys head coach Manny Gerarge.
The returning letter winners are senior Mandy Gerarge, juniors Erica Sorg, Savanah Krivonyak and Raelyn Cunningham and sophomores Rachel Ginther and Kali Quagliani.
According to Coach Gerarge, â€śThe biggest question mark this season will be the same everyone will face this year. How will moving the pitcherâ€™s mound to 43 feet affect the game?â€ť
Coach Gerarge will have sophomore Rachel Ginther as his starting pitcher with sophomore Kelsey Fritz as her back up. In the picture for the catching position are sophomores Hayley McGowan and Cassie Wonderling.
Battling for the first-base spot are Wonderling and juniors Raelyn Cunningham and Mia Keener. Sophomore Kali Quagliani will be at second, with junior Erica Sorg at shortstop and junior Savanah Krivonyak at third base.
In the outfield will be senior Mandy Gerarge, junior Morgan Lovenduski and sophomores Taylor Bellina and Fritz.
Goals for the Lady Dutch squad include continuing to improve from last year, focusing on winning the close games (one run) and focusing on making it into the District playoffs.
â€śPlaying the schedule we have, every game is tough. There isnâ€™t an easy game on our schedule. Every game is equally important,â€ť said Gerarge.
Joining Gerarge on the Lady Dutch softball staff are Bill Makufka, Paul Bellina, Brian Ginther, Eric Wonderling, Dean Taylor and Don Cunningham.
Members of the junior varsity squad are juniors Courtney Bankovich and Megan Wiest; sophomores Bella Cadori, Amber Gerarge, Kristi Wendel, Jolene Young, Mikayla Jackson and Jamie Dippold; and freshmen Ashlee Johnston, Whitney Taylor, Chelsea Agosti, Shondra Ginther, Katlyn McCandless, Nicole Harshbarger, Kristen Huff and Cassie Daniels.