Thursday, May 06, 2021

Sports

Huskies Deliver Big with 11-1 Win on Opening Day

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Sophomore pitcher Kacey Edwards and the Morgan softball squad earned a decisive win over East Hampton on April 10. Edwards pitched seven innings and stuck out nine batters.

File photo by Kelley Fryer/Harbor News

Sophomore pitcher Kacey Edwards and the Morgan softball squad earned a decisive win over East Hampton on April 10. Edwards pitched seven innings and stuck out nine batters. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)

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Senior shortstop Colleen Edwards has an outstanding approach at the plate, and she went 3-for-4 with an RBI in the Huskies’ 11-1 win over East Hampton on April 10.

File photo by Kelley Fryer/Harbor News

Senior shortstop Colleen Edwards has an outstanding approach at the plate, and she went 3-for-4 with an RBI in the Huskies’ 11-1 win over East Hampton on April 10. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)

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Junior Alex Duval brings versatility to the Huskies with her ability to play anywhere in the infield. File photo by Kelley Fryer/Harbor News

Junior Alex Duval brings versatility to the Huskies with her ability to play anywhere in the infield. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)

The Morgan softball squad claimed their first win in almost two years last week as the Huskies took the field for the first time since 2019. Head Coach Scott Chidsey’s squad claimed a victory over East Hampton and started the season off with a 1-0 record. The Huskies are looking to do some damage in the Shoreline Conference this spring and are excited to return to the diamond.

With the COVID-19 pandemic being new and unfamiliar at this time last year, spring season sports were canceled across the state. Morgan missed out on a 2020 season, and now, Coach Chidsey and his squad are just excited to have games on the schedule. Getting wins in those games is a bonus at this point.

“It’s very exciting. Last year was obviously horrible. Just being out on the field with the team, the girls seem more excited this year,” Chidsey said. “You can almost feel the energy. I think everybody has the feeling that you never know if it can be taken away at any time. So, we’re just happy to be out there.”

The Huskies showed their eagerness to compete on April 10 with a decisive 11-1 home victory over East Hampton. Sophomore pitcher Kacey Edwards had a stellar outing pitching seven innings and striking out nine batters, and she also went 3-for-5 in the batter’s box, including a triple and a stolen base. Senior Colleen Edwards also came up big at the plate going 3-for-4 with three steals and a run batted in. Sophomore Sydney Robinson also went 3-for-4 including a double, a triple, and two RBI.

It was an auspicious start for the Huskies, and after what Coach Chidsey saw in practices and scrimmages, he believes that the Huskies can be one of the top teams in the Shoreline.

“I’ve set the mark pretty high. Originally, we just wanted to get back out on the field and play softball. Based on what we’re seeing, I think we should be able to compete for the Shorelines,” said Chidsey. “I think we have enough talent to be competitive there, and hopefully the state tournament, if we get to that point. Originally that wasn’t the bar, but now, it’s set a little higher.”

The Edwards sisters Colleen and Kacey featured big time in the win over East Hampton, and Coach Chidsey wasn’t surprised, given the talent they both possess.

“Coleen Edwards will be one of our leaders on the field. She’s a tremendous athlete and very strong defensively. She’s our shortstop. She has power at the plate and is a base-stealer,” Chidsey said. “Kacey is our starting pitcher. First time I saw her was as a 5th grade all-star game, and I knew that she had it. She’s a hard worker, and she’s gotten consistently better. She’s grown a lot. She’s a hard thrower that has the ability to mix in other pitches. She’s poised and confident in her ability. She’s very similar to Coleen, a great athlete. She’s our lead-off hitter.”

The Huskies will also be receiving some steady senior leadership from captains Bianca Arias and Idalys Gonzalez. Coach Chidsey will rely on their effective communication and understanding of the game to keep the team pulling in the same direction.

“They are quick to be helpful and are very good communicators. They are people that I can rely on and have a team-first type mindset. They help out with fundraisers,” said Chidsey. “Idalys and Bianca were really helpful in stepping forward last year when we couldn’t play. They made posters for the seniors last year. We also did a caravan by the seniors’ houses and got them some gifts. Idalys and Bianca spearheaded that whole thing. That’s the kind of leadership a team needs.”

Gonzalez, Arias, and Francesca Tino make up the rest of the senior class after Colleen Edwards. Beyond the leadership skills of a veteran group, they also add some much needed depth to the lineup and defensive alignment.

“Bianca has a big bat and adds a lot of power to the lineup. She can play either outfield or first base, but she’s mostly going to be in the outfield,” Chidsey said. “Idalys and Tino bring a lot of energy to the team, and they’ve been that way since they were freshmen. They will definitely be contributors to our lineup.”

The only other upperclassman on the team is junior Alex Duval, who is a solid offensive player who adds some more depth to the infield.

“Alex Duval will have a big impact on offense. She’s a consistent hitter with some pop,” said Chidsey. “She can play either catcher or first base. She really adds some versatility on the field in that she can catch. That’s a plus.”

One of the major reasons that Coach Chidsey is so encouraged about the Huskies’ prospects this season is the emergence of a talented sophomore class. These are players that Chidsey hadn’t seen compete on a high school field prior to this year, so it’s been a pleasant surprise to say the least. Players like Sydney Giuliano, Angelina Herbst, Alyssa Maikowski, Sofie Passante, Eva O’Sullivan, Maddie O’Sullivan, Sydney Robinson, Courtney Vause, and Sarah Williams are players that can log meaningful innings for the Huskies.

“The sophomore class will all contribute. It was definitely a surprise. What’s really surprising is that there are that many kids in the same class with that type of desire and talent,” Chidsey said. “We have only one junior, but we have 10 sophomores. It’s surprising to see that many kids with the same interest in the same age group. I’ve seen them play in middle school, and I saw them as good, but now, they are definitely even better than they were, which is really exciting.”

The April 10 win against the Bellringers was also exciting in that the Huskies scored early and often. Morgan grabbed the advantage in the bottom first inning by scoring two runs. In the second inning, the Huskies added four more runs to increase the lead to 6-0. Morgan put another offensive onslaught together with five runs in the fourth inning to make it 11-0. East Hampton’s lone run came in the top of the fifth inning, and it was too little, too late.

Coach Chidsey and Assistant Coach Lauren Fitzgerald have impressed the need to keep working everyday no matter the outcome of the previous game. So it’s back to work for the Huskies as they prepare for first full week of games.

“We want them to have a strong work ethic and hustle is so important. Only good can come out of hustling. Everyone can hustle the same regardless of speed or size,” Chidsey said. “I don’t think the players will take anything for granted. We have depth, and we have a next up approach if anyone has to miss games. Any spectator will see a team that goes out and plays hard every game and is fundamentally sound.”



Chris Negrini is the Assistant Sports Editor for Zip06. Email Chris at c.negrini@shorepublishing.com.

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