Spring previews: Baseball looking to reload, girls track, softball on rise
Yes, there are some questions for the first time in a while with Bedford High baseball.
There is also a healthy modicum of some serious talent.
“The Bulldogs will look to get better in every facet of the game, every single day, said coach Billy Chapman, whose club has been to four straight Division I state title games, including last year’s title loss to Exeter. “This team will be the youngest most unproven team in the last five years but has talented and hard-working players.”
Losing Grant Lavigne to the Major League Baseball draft and the 1-2 punch of starters Geoff Mosseau and Pat Harrington to graduation, the Bulldogs will need to scrape things together early as newcomers gain some valuable experience.
Middle infielder Trevor Anibal is a returning all-Division I second team selection, while St. Anselm’s commit Avery Mosseau and sophomore Zach Fletcher will anchor the lineup. Among the youngsters who will get first crack in the order are junior Jared Neikam, sophomores Michael Pratte and TJ Crowley, along with freshman Ryan Juliano.
On the mound, Anibal, Fletcher and Pratte hope to settle in as your Monday-Wednesday-Friday rotation.
Coach Jay Brewster’s Bedford girls softball team returns seven starters from a 7-12 team that earned a playoff spot in 2018.
Heading that pack are seniors Maddie Fraitzl on the mound, Whitney Fitzgerald at first and some strength up the middle in shortstop Erica Barley and centerfielder Madison Lucontoni.
Juniors Amelia Edwards (left field), Katherine Sasso (second base) and Morgan Fraitzl (third base) 3b all started a year ago as sophomores. The catcher’s spot is a huge hole, but freshman Caity Lemay has been a pleasant surprise there.
Others looking for innings include outfielder Elise Buchanan, pitcher Caroline O’Donnel and utility player Caroline Rankins, all juniors.
“We’re an experienced team at every position with good offensive and defensive skills,” said Brewster, who will be ably assisted by Jill Saltzman and Karen Simard. “We have disciplined pitching and at the plate. We must limit mistakes on defense.”
After guiding the Bedford High girls track team to a fourth place at the Division I State Meet a year ago, Bulldogs coach Noah Pion got a nice surprise this spring.
“This is the biggest team in the history of Bedford High School girls track with 92 girls rostered,” said Pion. “We have 92 girls rostered. I’m excited to see what the season brings. We have much more depth this spring compared to last winter track season. We will work hard and see where it will bring us.”
Captains Brianna CoCo, Veronica Gikas, Jori Santos, Delaney Flanagan and Jessica O’Brien lead Bedford back into battle this spring.
CoCo is one of the state’s top hurdlers, and Gikas is right there with the best sprinters in New Hampshire. Sprinter Hannah Mikol and sprinter/leaper Elizabeth Flynn will make things very interesting this spring.
There is depth in the distances with sophomore Carly Rinko and seniors Flanagan and Anna Harnsberger. Santos is a top high-jumper, while Olivia Towey will look to get things cooking in the pole vault.
“The freshman class seems to be very promising,” said Pion. “Also, the distance team is strong and we may have a few that have a positive impact on the team.”