By Alicia Dziak
It might be hard to believe when you look outside at the snow, but the SGI spring softball season is now underway.
The program is led by varsity coach Kim Pazzuti (who was just this week elected as Springville Village trustee). Pazzuti, a teacher at Springville Elementary School, is returning as a softball coach in the district for the fifth year. She previously coached at the modified level for three years, at the JV level for one, and this will be her first season coaching varsity. She brings to the position a clear love of the game, having played in high school, competing at sectionals at West Point, and playing in a couple adult leagues.
After a couple weeks of practice under their belts, the varsity team has been busy preparing for the upcoming season.
“Currently, there are 11 girls on the varsity softball team,” Pazzuti said.
The team includes four seniors. Morgan DePue will be playing in the outfield; Sarah Kester will play in two positions as pitcher and third base; Sydney Rosati will play first base; and Ryan Stedman will play second base.
Adding to that is four juniors: Olivia Fisher as outfield or catcher; Amy Stabell as outfield or catcher; Meadow Wittman as shortstop; and Nicole Sacilowski as center outfield.
Rounding out the team are three freshmen called up from JV. Kaitlyn Wolf will pitch or play third base; Marin Lehr will play in the outfield; and Meghan Rehrauer will play where there is a need.
“One of our strengths will be having four seniors returning,” Pazzuti said. “Our defense will be very strong and the knowledge that the girls bring to the game is huge. Many have played travel softball and have joined the SYI softball program. So many are playing beyond our program keeping their skills sharp.”
Pazzuti anticipates Maryvale being the toughest competition. “They always seem to turn out a strong team at every level,” she noted.
While the current weather outside is not the most conducive to softball, Pazzuti and her team are making the best of it and utilizing school gym facilities.
“Each practice I like to start with dynamic warm ups run by our captains,” she explained. “Then we will move into our throwing progression. Next, we do several defensive drills (fielding, pop ups, situations, run downs) and drills that help with conditioning. Finally, our second half of practice we go into our offense drills breaking up in different hitting drills working on eye hand coordination, timing, and each part of our swing. One station is our live hitting where the girls are pitched to by Coach Stedman. Once they have all gone through the stations we ask our pitchers and catchers to go into the cage and the girls will take a few pitches each.”
All of the hard work indoors and eventually outdoors, will help the team reach their potential. “Some of our goals are to play as a team on and off the field, give 100 percent, be a committed player, and have fun!” Pazzuti said.
The girls are scheduled to scrimmage as early as next week, with games starting the week after spring break.
“The weather certainly affects our season if we can’t get our games in then they start piling up. We are hopeful the weather will break and we will have a dryer spring,” Pazzuti said.
Visit www.springvillegi.org for the schedule. Go Lady Griffs!