delgazette.com

Pioneers primed for productive season

By Ben Stroup bstroup@civitasmedia.com

March 27, 2014

Olentangy Orange had to settle for runner-up honors in the OCC-Capital Division last spring. This time around, with a lineup packed with productive players, the Pioneers are aiming for the top spot.


“Overall, we will be a competitive team,” Orange coach Bruce Leary said. “We play solid defense, we have good hitting throughout our lineup, we have good team speed and we have great team chemistry.”


All the ingredients for a successful season are in place … it’s all about executing at this point.


On a team with a familiar feel — a squad which returns several standouts from last year’s team which finished 19-8 overall and 11-3 in league play to tie for second with Delaware Hayes — the biggest difference between this year and last will be in the circle, where junior Jenn Kurelic will take over for the graduated Mason Robinson.


“Jenn will move from first base to the circle for us,” Leary said. “She is one of our leading hitters and has been working hard on her pitching … and with good results.”


Other key returners include junior catcher Kyle Davidson, junior shortstop Emily Grabau and senior second baseman Rachel Ramsey.


“We have one of the best catchers around in Kyle,” the coach said. “While a terrific defensive player, she also hit over .500 last year. Emily and Rachel, both good hitters, will anchor our defense.”


Leary said this season should be an exciting one, with several capable teams — including defending champ Olentangy — returning a ton of talent.


“This should be a fun year in the Capital with four or five good teams each led by good pitching,” he said. “We expect to be one of them.”