Carson softball club looks to get feet wet today

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No matter how the weather comes up today, the Carson High School softball team is looking forward to getting its feet wet today with a Sierra League season opening double header against South Tahoe.

If predictions for snow showers come true, the Senators may get their feet really wet in a twin-bill scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at Carson High. It'll be hard to deter Carson's young ball club.

"We're looking to play," Carson coach John Sullivan said. "We've got tarps on the infield and we'll have kids there with shovels in the morning. They want to play. The cold weather has kept us indoors quite a bit and that gets hard. We're real anxious to get outside and play some ball."

Despite the presence of only one senior on their 16-player roster, the Senators have some young talent that could stir up some excitement this season. There were certainly positive signs in their double header sweep against Lassen in Susanville, Calif., on Tuesday.

"Susanville supposedly has a pretty good team, but we held them to five hits in two games and we had 20 hits," Sullivan said. "Our pitching was good and we played really good defense. I'm pleased with the progress we've shown so far."

The Senators will be looking to improve upon their fourth-place league finish in 2001 and one reason for the optimism is a revamped pitching staff. Junior Lindsay Farnworth, who handled most of last year's pitching duties, returns to join a trio of talented freshmen, Brittany Puzey, Kayla Dunn and Mandy Carvin. Puzey and Carvin are the projected starters for today's double header.

"All four are in the 60-plus mph range, so we're looking pretty good there," Sullivan said. "With these three freshmen, I think you're going to see Carson softball have a lot of success in the next four years."

Puzey and Dunn shared the pitching duties for a Carson Comets 14-and-under team that went far at the ASA National Championships last August in Broken Arrow, Okla.

The Senators have depth at other positions as well.

Junior Lindsey Perondi is a varsity returnee who has moved to catcher, where she is expected to share playing time with sophomore Ariande Gonzalez. Heather Hood saw action behind the plate last year, but has been kept out so far by a lingering ribcage injury.

Farnworth, a second-team all-conference DH last season, will play first base or in the outfield when she isn't pitching. Puzey, Dunn and Carvin will figure into the mix at first when they aren't pitching.

Kaylee Risi, the team's lone senior, returns for her third varsity season and is the incumbent at second base. Freshman Katie Davis will be her back-up.

Talia Joyce, a returnee who played third last year, has now taken over at shortstop. Freshman Liz Rankl is her back-up.

Ashley Reese, a transfer who started at shortstop the last two years for Dayton, and Breezi Dyer are competing for the third base job.

Natalie Mandoki, who saw playing time last year, is starting in left field. Bethany Henry is in center field and Kaitie Vidovich will be looking for time in right field along with Farnworth.

The Senators will be looking to be on the field playing when they host the Northern 4A Regional Tournament on May 9-11. They will have to finish in the top four in a league that includes two-time defending state champion Wooster and perennial power Douglas.

"I think it's going to be a real tough league," Sullivan said. "It looks like Wooster is the top dog and Douglas is going to be real tough. But you never know what's going to happen. That's why you still have to go play all these games."


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