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The Southern Connecticut softball team appeared solid entering the season except for one position â right field. Sophomore Sarah Koerner ended all questions when she took over that spot for the Owls.
Koerner, from Coventry (Coventry High), is hitting .333 (24-for-72) with two triples, six RBI and 10 runs scored. She has five stolen bases.
âRight field was the one position in question for us at the start of the season but Sarah quickly earned the starting role,â coach Lisa Barbaro said.
The coach is impressed with Koernerâs speed and athleticism. She was used mostly as a pinch runner as a freshman.
âThat (the speed) has made Sarah a tough out,â Barbaro said. âShe has done a great job and we are excited about her improvement and look forward to a successful season.â
The Owls are 16-14 overall and 4-2 in the Northeast-10 Conference. They have three league games on the road this weekend against St. Rose in Albany, N.Y.
MCCARTNEY BREAKS OUT
Freshman Falynn McCartney has had a big first season with the Central Connecticut womenâs lacrosse team, but the 5-foot-7 midfielder from North Kingstown (La Salle Academy) came up really big in a recent 9-6 Northeast Conference victory over Sacred Heart. She had a team-high four goals. On the season, she has seven goals and two assists for 16 points to go along with 10 ground balls, five draw controls and six caused turnovers.
âFalynn is adjusting well to collegiate lacrosse,â coach Kelly Nangle said. âI think her performance against Sacred Heart was a real breakthrough performance.â
Because of her efforts, McCartney is seeing more and more action in games.
âAs she has seen more action, the speed at which her skills have improved has increased,â Nangle said. âWe expect her to be a contributor the rest of the season. Off the field, she fits in perfectly with our team and has done a good job of adjusting academically.â
The Blue Devils are 7-5 overall and lead the NEC with a 5-0 record. They have a league game against Wagner Friday in Staten Island, N.Y.
Sophomore Sam Johnson of Wakefield (South Kingstown High) is hitting .280 (14-for-50) with two doubles, six runs scored and seven RBI for the UMass-Lowell baseball team. The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder spent the past two seasons at Rhode Island but didnât get into any games.
âSam has had a very good year,â coach Ken Harring said. âHeâs had some big hits in big situations. He plays hard and has an extreme passion for the game that you canât teach.â
The coach also likes Johnsonâs versatility.
âSam has done everything we have asked of him as a catcher, a first baseman and as a designated hitter,â Harring said.
In the field, Johnson has handled 65 chances without an error for the River Hawks, who are 16-12-1 overall and 0-3-1 in Northeast-10 Conference action.
ANZEVENO HELPING OUT
Joe Anzeveno of South Kingstown (The Prout School) is in his first season playing with the Lynn baseball team after two solid seasons at Pasco Hernando Community College. An infielder, he has seen limited action with the Fighting Knights and is hitting .150 (3âfor-20) with four runs scored and two RB I.
âJoe came in as a shortstop but he has filled in at third base without missing a step,â coach Rudy Garbalosa said. âHe has shown he can play multiple infield positions. He has an aggressive bat and a great team attitude.â
The coach feels that his two years at Pasco Hernando, one of the top junior colleges in Florida, has helped him prepare for his career at Lynn.
âPasco Hernando does a great job and it has helped Joe to improve his skills, especially playing on the short grass fields in Florida,â Garbalosa said.
The Fighting Knights, out of Boco Raton, FL, are currently 24-13 overall and 8-4 in the Sunshine State Conference.
KIERS SETTLING IN
Freshman Val Kiers is pitching for the Emmanuel softball team. The 5-foot-3 right-hander from West Warwick (West Warwick High) is 4-9 with a 4.02 earned run average for the Saints who are 8-18 overall and 3-11 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. Sheâs had nine complete games in 16 outings and has worked 78.1 innings, giving up 80 hits and 67 runs, 45 earned. Sheâs walked 39 and struck out 52.
âVal has been and will continue to be a consistent starter throughout the season,â coach Rob Spofford said. âHer success has come when she has mixed her pitches and location. She has a terrific changeup that she can throw for a strike and it also sets up her other movement pitches well.â
Kiers is hitting .125 (5-for-40) with five runs scored and two RBI.
âVal continues to make great progress at the plate,â Spofford said. âWe view Val as a long term player for our program and that should translate into a very successful collegiate career.â
DUO A HIT FOR SEAHAWKS
Sophomore Joe Haley and freshman Ryan Sweenor are big hitters for the Salve Regina baseball team.
Haley, from North Kingstown (North Kingstown High), is hitting .301 (22-for-73) with seven doubles, two triples, 19 runs scored and a team-high 22 RBI. Heâs playing third base.
âJoe has the potential to be as good a pure hitter as anyone on the team,â associate head coach Eric Cirella said. âBut the biggest difference in his game this season has been his defense and his leadership. He works hard, doesnât complain and I think the guys respect that.â
Sweenor, from South Kingstown (South Kingstown High), is hitting .371 (23-for-62) with seven doubles, a home run, 13 runs scored and 16 RBI.
âRyan isnât your typical freshman,â Cirella said. âHe has played a lot of baseball over the years. This year heâs made the transition from second base to the outfield and looks better there every day. He can run, hit for average and even sprinkle in some doubles and an occasional home run.â
The Seahawks, 15-6 overall and 4-2 in Commonwealth Coast Conference play, are also getting solid pitching and in that group is freshman Sean Healy. Healy, from Wakefield (South Kingstown High), has worked in three games with two starts. Heâs 2-0 with a 3.00 earned run average. In 12 innings, heâs given up 13 hits and six runs, four earned, with three walks and nine strikeouts.
âSean has done everything we have asked including more focus in the weight room and improving his breaking ball,â Cirella said. âHeâs been battling some tendonitis but has given us two quality starts. When he spots his fast ball and can get his off speed over for a strike, Sean can beat any Division III team in the country.â