Fourth year head coach of the Tunkhannock Area girls softball team Bob Hegedty is returning all nine of his starters.
All nine of the reigning two-time District 2 Class 4A champions.
All nine, including eight seniors, six of whom were starters on the team that went to states as sophomores.
And all six of those seniors are going on to play in college. Hope and Faith Jones are headed to Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Jena Simons to Misericordia University, Erin Dunn will be on the roster at Keystone College, while Hailey Farr will suit up for Lock Haven.
While the team lost one senior last year, the basic core of the team is in tact.
That is the kind of experience a coach likes to have to start out a season.
But Hegedty is not resting on the team’s past success.
He said, “We had a good strong season last year, but we are looking to improve.”
While the knowledgeable coaching staff, one that includes Ron Hampsey, Terry Darling, Mark Reposa, and John Walsh, works on the fundamentals of the game, Hegedty expects to have successful season as well as postseason.
“We stressed to the girls that off season work carries into the season,” said the head coach, who is coming off of coaching a winning wrestling season for the Tigers.
He added, “Our strengths are our pitching and hitting, and we really done have any weaknesses.”
The Lady Tigers have a very competitive schedule, including an invitational tournament in the beginning of April.
“I would say that I am most looking forward to finishing what we started,” said senior catcher Farr. “We came in as freshman unknown, but we worked hard and made a name for Tunkhannock softball and ourselves, which to me is something truly special.”
She continued, “Every time we run out on the field we all play for each other rather than for ourselves and I think that makes all the difference. I want my legacy as a Tiger to be just remembered as a great teammate, role model and leader. Someone the team could always rely on to pick them up when they are down and be the first to cheer them on or even motivate them when they aren’t pulling their weight.”
Softball season begins in Wallenpaupack for the Lady Tigers on March 16. The Buckhorns finished last season in second place in the Lackawanna League’s district 2 with an 8-5 record.
Roster: Seniors Hope Jones, Faith Jones, Jena Simmons, Kendra Schultz, Erin Dunn, Hailey Farr, Hope Perez, and Abbey Fisher. Juniors Riley Cummings, Gina Walsh, and Mackayla Quick. Sophomores Nicole Howell, Lexi Farber, Ella Larioni, Gabby Roote, Mackayla Moyer, and Aubrey Parr. Freshmen Rhiannon Burns, Lexi Fourtney, Madelyn Lockard, Makayla Purdy, Emily Schultz, Hailey Spudis, and Lexi Farber.
Schedule: Mar. 16 at Wallenpaupack Area, TBA; Mar. 25 at Wyoming Seminary, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 1 at Hazleton Area, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 4 at Berwick Area, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 6 at the NFCA Tournament, TBA; Apr. 7 at the NFCA Tournament, TBA; Apr. 9 vs. Dallas, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 12 at Nanticoke Area, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 13 at Bethlehem Liberty, TBA; Apr. 16 vs. Wyoming Area, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 18 at Crestwood, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 20 vs. Stroudsburg, 11 a.m.; Apr. 23 vs. Wyoming Valley West, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 26 vs. Coughlin, 4:30 p.m.; Apr. 30 vs. Wyoming Area, 4:30 p.m.; May 3 vs. Pittston Area, 4:30 p.m.; May 4 vs. Wallenpaupack Area, 11 a.m.; May 7 vs. Nanticoke Area, 4:30 p.m.; May 10 vs. Berwick Area, 4:30 p.m.; May 14 at Dallas, 4:30 p.m.