Youth marks Pirates softball team

Posted 8/20/09

Youth, inexperience and playing in the toughest league in the state create challenges for this year’s Englewood High School girls softball team. …

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Youth marks Pirates softball team


Youth, inexperience and playing in the toughest league in the state create challenges for this year’s Englewood High School girls softball team.

“We are going to be green, very green since we only have one varsity starter , Chelsea Chapman, back from last season,” Pirates coach Dave Chapman said. “It does help that some of these girls played JV last season and several of the girls played summer ball with the Englewood Youth Sports Association teams. But, JV and summer softball aren’t varsity competition. So, it’ll be a season focusing on steady improvement every time we take the field.”

Unfortunately, there is little time to get ready as the Pirates open the season with a non-league game Aug. 22 against Sheridan. The 10 a.m. game will be played at Brent Mayne Field which is located on West Union Avenue near the South Platte River.

Chelsea Chapman, a sophomore, was a varsity starter in right field last season and saw some time as a reserve pitcher. She will move to the team’s No. 1 pitcher this season.

Karlie Korinek, who was on the varsity last year but only saw limited action because of injuries, returns to the team this season.

Coach Chapman said several players do have some softball experience, including playing this summer with EYSA teams.

The coach said Breanna Klipka, who played shortstop this summer, has looked good at that spot in the early practices and newcomer Anastasia Andrew, the team’s only senior, also has done well in practice.

League play is another challenge facing the Pirates. Coach Chapman noted the Jefferson County League is among the toughest in the state. For example, league opponents include defending state champ Wheat Ridge, state runner-up D’Evelyn as well Evergreen, Conifer and Golden that are perennial contenders for playoff berths.

“The girls are working hard and so far, they are enthusiastic, excited and get after it,” the coach said. “They are listening to the coaches and doing everything we ask. You can’t ask more than that. It’ll be tough but we’ll hang in there and strive to be competitive.”

Chelsea Chapman comes into the season as the team’s only seasoned pitcher.

“I played this summer and I feel the coaching I received make me a better pitcher coming into this season,” the sophomore said. “I feel my fastball is faster and I am through with more accuracy so a lot more of my pitches are in the strike zone.”

She added that, during the summer, she has learned to throw a change-up. A pitcher’s motion is the same for a change-up as for a fastball but the ball comes across the plate slower. Chapman said her change-up was a good pitch for her during the summer.

The sophomore letter winners also said she has been doing a better job with the bat but noted she still is a contact hitter and likes to bunt a lot so she can use her speed to get the infield hit.

Chapman acknowledged this will be a challenging season for the team because the Pirates are so young and inexperienced. But she said the players are good athletes and, if everyone works hard, the team will do OK this season.


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