North Shore’s softball team bounced back from a troubling 1-5 start to finish 6-9 this spring and takes high hopes into the offseason.
“We went on a nice winning streak and turned the season around a bit,” head coach Toni Papetti said. “They really impressed me at how they ended the season…They really are fighters.”
North Shore did have some roadblocks on the way, however, having a number of starters succumb to injury near the midpoint of the season, forcing the rallying Lady Vikings to cool off a bit. Taylor Berry, who was having a fantastic season at that point, unfortunately was a victim of injury after a slide into second base forced her out of action with an ankle injury.
“She was having a great season and an even better stretch,” Papetti said. “I think she hit three home runs in three games before it happened.”
Berry still finished the season with All-Conference honors.
Joining Berry in the ranks of All-Conference was Jade Diaz, a junior dynamo with ample hitting ability and growing defensive prowess. Diaz is a part of a large junior class that will be the core of this North Shore team in 2019. Papetti acknowledges that with this large nucleus returning to her next year, they have a solid shot at contending for the conference title.
“I think with this core coming back next year it’s definitely a real possibility,” Papetti said. “When you have a group that knows each other so well, knows me so well, they have the potential to be special.”
North Shore’s one senior who will depart the program is Kristen Reed, a two-year varsity player that has come a long way for Papetti. “First-off, she is my scholar-athlete and a captain,” Papetti said. “When she first came up to varsity, she was sort of quiet and then this year Kristen found her voice.”
Reed also improved tremendously on the field. “I had her batting in the lower half of the lineup until one day she starts hitting triples and she bumped her way up in the lineup,” Papetti said. She will be studying at SUNY Cortland next year.
As for the impending offseason, Papetti has met individually with all of her girls to go over the season, what their plan is going forward, and how to improve.
“They all want to get better, and I’m very happy for that,” Papetti said. North Shore has multiple girls that are looking to improve, including pitcher Lindsay Bonn who will be hard at work with her personal coach over the offseason.
“We have eighth graders and freshmen itching to play, we’ve got two eighth grade teams with thirty softball players, and we’ve got over 50 kids from the Little League coming to our clinics,” Papetti said.
Of her girls she’s with now, though, she admires their feverish chase to get better. “Their tenacity is commendable, I can’t say it enough,” Papetti said.