Warriors looking for a repeat of 2004 | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Warriors looking for a repeat of 2004

Steve Yingling

Last year, the Whittell High Warriors caught their Northern 2A foes by surprise at the regional softball tournament.

Whittell won the tournament as a fourth seed and went on to win its first state tournament game in school history.

Laying low worked for Whittell coach Lindsay Wines last year, so she hopes to use that formula to succeed in 2005.

“It’s a great goup of kids and I am really excited,” said Wines, a 10th-year coach. “I don’t want to make any broad expectations. We’re just going to get out and play and get better and when it comes time for zone, we’ll be ready.”

The Warriors weren’t decimated by graduating seniors, losing first- and second-team all-staters Sara Piccola and Katlin Willens, but underclassmen Tina Hordzwick and Kaitlin Green didn’t return to the team this season.

But Whittell has Northern 2A Most Valuable Player Anna Kingman and all-league catcher Whitney Gielow to rebuild around.

Kingman has played shortstop most of her Whittell career and dabbled on the mound, but Wines will use her almost exclusively at first base this season. She is experiencing arm trouble and will give her right shoulder time to recover.

As important as Kingman’s senior season is, Wines is focused on her star player making it to the next level.

“She’s been accepted at Washington and would like to play up there, so we’ve put together some video and we’ll do what we can do to get her there,” Wines said. “She’s definitely capable of college softball and she’s hitting so much better this year, if you can believe that.”

Wines can protect her star player on the back side with Gielow hitting cleanup and Sasha Silver in the No. 2 slot. Opponents will have to think twice of treating Kingman like Barry Bonds.

“Incline was the only team we faced last year that (repeatedly) intentionally walked her,” Wines said. “If they want to walk Anna with two girls on, let them.”

That could mean a big RBI season for Gielow in the cleanup spot.

“Whitney is one of our best hitters. She goes unnoticed, but she’s a (heckuva) an athlete,” Wines said.

One Kingman was tough enough to deal with; now teams will have to deal with two. Freshman Abby Kingman will fill her older sister’s shoes at shortstop.

“She realizes she’s in a tough spot, but she’s working hard to get where she needs to be,” Wines said.

Other Warriors expected to deliver at the plate are junior third baseman Holly Connelly, senior center fielder Ariana Rodriguez, Tara Humbird and Tara Scaduto.

An 18-player roster – six more than last year – will give the Warriors depth at nearly every position.

“The heart of a team is the bench … the more who are on the team, the stronger your team is,” said pitcher Katie Komorowski.

How far the Warriors go in 2005 will depend on how quickly an inexperienced pitching staff comes together.

Komorowski, a junior, saw some spot duty on the mound last year, but Green logged most of the innings.

“If I can’t step up and take it, I’m sure there is someone else who can,” Komorowski said.

Wines’ backup pitchers include freshmen Kingman and Austyn Harrington and sophomore Megan Esquivel. Silver will also be asked to pitch from time to time.

Topping last year’s regional championship and 18-16 record would be a tall order for any team, but the Warriors aren’t intimidated by their success in 2004.

“We haven’t really sat down and talked about our goals for the season,” Komorowski said. “We made it to state last year and this year we want to get as far, if not further and try to get first or second at state.”

After last season’s success, Wines sees no reason to change expectations a year later.

“No one expects us to do a lot,” Wines said. “I think we’re one of the top three teams in our league. We’ll play ball, but I think Battle Mountain will be the team to beat in league this year.”

Whittell opens its season today at the Yerington tournament. The Warriors will play Mammoth at noon and Lowry at 3:30 p.m. On Saturday, the Warriors are scheduled to meet Yerington and Hawthorne.

Whittell softball schedule

Date Opponent Time

March 11-12 Yerington tourney TBA

March 15 At Smith Valley 3 p.m.

March 17 At Dayton 3 p.m.

March 30 NORTH TAHOE 3:30 p.m.

April 1 At Battle Mtn. (DH) 1 p.m.

April 9 At White Pine (DH) 1 p.m.

April 11 At North Tahoe 3:30 p.m.

April 14 At Truckee 3:30 p.m.

April 18 VIRGINIA CITY 3:30 p.m.

April 23 At Hawthorne (DH) Noon

April 26 DAYTON 3:30 p.m.

April 30 At Silver Stage (DH) Noon

May 2 COLEVILLE 3:30 p.m.

May 6 LOVELOCK (DH) 3 p.m.

May 13-14 Regionals TBA

May 19-21 State tourney TBA

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