Cavs again look to pitching, defense

March 17, 1994|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Sun Staff Writer

For years, the South Carroll Cavaliers have relied on solid defense, steady pitching and scraping up runs any way they can.

Coach Debbie Eaton says this season will be no different.

The Cavs have a strong nucleus back from last year's team and a handful of promising newcomers who are looking to make their mark at the varsity level.

"The defense has been a strong point at South Carroll over the past few years and the offense hasn't always been there," Eaton said.

"We're looking to take advantage of our speed and experience at the offensive end and feel the defense will again take care of itself. We don't have a lot of power, so we're working hard with the girls on making contact, running the bases and taking whatever we can get."

Eaton has five returning seniors who she'll rely on heavily, led by three-year pitcher Nicole Carter, who has gotten better and better with every season.

"Nicole did a real nice job for us last year and should be even stronger this year," Eaton said.

"She's an old hat at it now. She's more of a control pitcher, but her speed is improving. The bottom line is you have to put it across the plate and she does a nice job of that."

Also back from last year are catcher Becky Smith, third baseman Melanie Zahn, along with Amy Thompson and Andrea Snyder, both of whom may see time at second and in the outfield.

The Cavs will need to pick up the slack left behind by the graduated Melissa Moore. Last season, the first-team, all-county selection hit .451 and struck out only once.

Eaton is looking for Smith to drive in some runs and expects to see Zahn and sophomore shortstop Amy Stephenson on base a lot at the top of the Cavs' lineup. Everyone in the lineup will have to do their share and the Cavs will try to manufacture runs with strong base running.

"Becky came through for us pretty well last year and we're hoping she's more consistent this year," Eaton said. "Zahn's a good contact hitter and has been hitting the ball very good inside so far. We have a lot of contact hitters and we're going to bunt a lot and try to find the holes."

The outfield remains a question mark for the Cavs but Eaton has a number of candidates for the three spots. Junior Heather Jacobson will likely start along with whoever isn't at second between Thompson and Snyder. Lindsey Treworgy, Carrie Carver and Jessica Butz give the Cavaliers depth.

"The experience is there and the enthusiasm has been great despite being stuck inside. We're looking forward to a good season," Eaton said.

The Cavs will miss the offensive punch of junior outfielder Kendra Pulis, who had shoulder surgery following the fall soccer season.

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