UW Softball Preview Part 2: Infielders
Feb. 1, 2013
SEATTLE -The 2013 softball season is less than one week away and GoHuskies.com will take a look at all positions leading up to the season opener Feb. 7 vs. St. Mary's in Honolulu, Hawai'i at 1 p.m. PT.
In this second preview we take a look at the infield positions.
2013 Husky Infielders (Alphabetical)
Hooch Fagaly returns at first base as a junior but in her fourth year of the program. Fagaly had an outstanding freshman year playing in the 2010 Women's College World Series before missing her sophomore campaign due to a pre-season knee injury. After re-adjusting last season she looks to have another big year in 2013.
"Hooch is one of our big time leaders, who in my opinion, is the best first baseman in the country," said head coach Heather Tarr. "Last year was a down year for Hooch offensively and I think it had to do a lot with her taking a whole year off with her knee injury. She has come back into this season better than I've ever seen her."
Three sophomores got the start as freshmen and are on track to have even bigger years in 2013. Kylee Lahners was the starting second baseman and Kimberlee Souza played shortstop and third base for the Huskies.
"Offensively Kylee had some big opportunities to come through last year," said Tarr. "I believe she is going to have the same opportunities this year and will make good on them."
"We are going to keep Kimberlee at third base," Tarr continued. "That's her most natural position. She had a solid first year at the plate but didn't overachieve. She is such a hard worker that at some point the game is going to pay her back."
Kelli Sugurosaw most of her playing time last year as a pinch hitter but will get chances to earn a starting spot in the infield early on.
"Kelli is slated to have a lot of early opportunities at second base," Tarr added. "Every time she was in the game offensively for us last year she made something happen and for her to be able to have a consistent opportunity is going to be exciting to watch."
Courtney Ganostarted at third base in 2012 and switched with Souza to end the year as the teams' shortstop but will miss the first half of the season with a hand injury.
With Gano out, freshman Jennie McNeillwill be vying for the starting position.
"Jennie is a good option for us not just defensively at shortstop but offensively as well," said Tarr. "She is a triple threat hitter where she can put pressure on the defense in any way possible."
Three other freshmen infielder's look to contribute this season, especially at the plate. Missy Taukeiahocould be a defensive option for the Huskies but at the plate is where she will make an immediate impact.
"Missy isn't just an infielder, she can play outfield if need be and she is a very good offensive option for us," said Tarr.
Jenna Kreamer, the first-ever player from Louisiana, adds another big bat to the lineup.
"Jenna is also a third baseman," Tarr said. "She is a great offensive piece and will get a lot of early opportunities at the plate for us."
Dani Braunis a local player who bats from the left side of the plate and has been practicing at first base in the pre-season.
"Dani has been playing most of her time at first base and learning the position at the level that we play," said Tarr. "Having somebody like Hooch to mentor her is only going to help her down the road."
Check back on Monday for the preview of the pitchers and catchers.