Hawks hope to soar to another state softball title
Hudson - The developing Hudson High softball season is a good news/bad news scenario: as in good news for the defending Division 2 state champion Hawks, bad news for their competition.
An eye-popping eight starters return from last year's team, which steamrolled through Central Mass. and the commonwealth, compiling a 24-1 mark and delivering Hudson its first state title in softball.
Leading the way is pitcher Kaitlin Andrews, one of eight seniors in the dugout for coach Russ Davis. Andrews, who is in her fifth season pitching for the Hawks, will attend Stonehill College next year, where she will continue her softball career on a partial athletic scholarship.
"Kaitlin is rolling along," Davis said. "She worked hard in the off -season. She's excited to get the chance to help defend the state title she helped win last year. She wants to show people it wasn't a fluke."
Davis said Andrews has had no trouble adjusting to the rule change that has pushed the pitching rubber back three feet, from 40 to 43 feet.
Other seniors in the starting lineup include the entire outfield – left-fielder Maire Joyce, center-fielder Meghan Carter and right-fielder Kristen Bowen – as well as third baseman Bekka Mongeau and shortstop Laura Bowen, who is Kristen's cousin.
Senior Cathy Casavant plays first for Hudson this year while fellow upperclassman Chrissy Grote not only provides a hot bat off the bench, but the ability to play a variety of positions in the field.
Andrews, Mongeau and the Bowen cousins are serving as captains for the Hawks.
Junior Cristy Jenkins, who was a key cog on the team last year at first base, will spend the majority of her playing time this season as catcher, attempting to fill the cleats of Lori DeArcangelis, one of three starters on last year's team – along with Amanda Lambert and Jamie Millett – who were lost to the gates of graduation.
Jenkins is one of six juniors on the Hawks' roster. The others are Nikki Meuse, Kayley Fannon, Melissa Tobin, Sam Sawyer and Marla Caram.
Meuse will spell Andrews from time to time in the pitching circle, while Fannon has been folded into the mix in the outfield. Tobin and Sawyer are splitting time at second base, and Caram is backing up a number of po- sitions, including first base, third base and catcher.
Michelle Serrintino is the lone sophomore on the team. Davis will look to get her playing time in center field, at catcher and at third base as the season progresses.
A slight controversy has swirled around the Hawks, some news outlet having reported that Davis and members of the team predicted in the preseason that they would go undefeated.
"That's not exactly accurate," Davis said. "I was asked about the possibility of the team having an undefeated season, since we lost just one game last year and I said it was possible if we played to the best of our ability. I'm not saying, or predicting, that it's going to happen, I'm just saying that if I ever had a team that had the possibility of going undefeated, this one is it."
The Hawks entered play this week 4-0.
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