Holmdel girls need to revert to their early-season form

first_imgFARRAH MAFFAI Holmdel’s Megan Heugle tags out the Lions’ Jenna Provost during the Hornets’ loss at Middletown North on Friday. Things were looking rosy for the Holmdel High School softball team after a 4-0 start, but the Hornets have struggled along at 1-6 since, and coach Geri Semenza is looking to get her team back on track. The slump means Holmdel will have to bounce back in order to earn a spot in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II playoffs. Teams must be at .500 or better at the end of play May 10 to qualify. Semenza is also looking for an invitation to the Shore Conference Tournament. As a result, Holmdel faces an important five-game week that began Monday when Asbury Park came to visit and included yesterday’s scheduled home game against Monmouth Regional. Tomorrow the Hornets begin a string of three straight road games at Colts Neck. Holmdel will be in Keyport Friday, and Saturday Semenza’s team travels to St. Rose in Belmar. The Hornets defeated both Monmouth Regional and Colts Neck earlier in the season. “Our defense was a big reason for the 4-0 start,” Semenza said. “We’ve struggled the last few weeks. Our defense has been a little inconsistent, but the girls know they can play better in the field.” Fortunately, the Hornets are hitting well as a team. First baseman Staci Gussis is at .385, shortstop Megan Heugle, a four-year starter, is batting .350, and sophomore third baseman Jen Zudonyi is also above the .300 mark. All three are tied for the team lead with 12 RBIs. Right fielder Angela Sze is Holmdel’s leading hitter with a .425 average. In addition, sophomore center fielder Julie Vikse has displayed some power by blasting two homers, third baseman Kristin Dayback, another soph, has begun to hit of late, and freshman catcher Jen Curran is starting to hit as well, Semenza said. “We have a lot of young players, and they’re still making the adjustment to varsity,” the coach said. “Overall, I’m very pleased with their progress.” Senior Andrea Erskine is back on the mound after missing most of last spring with a back injury. Other members of the team include left fielder Nicole Luccarelli and outfielder Mandy Kapsales. “This is a big week for us,” Semenza acknowledged. “We need to start winning to get the momentum we’ll need for the tournaments.” — Warren Rappleyealast_img

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