Softball schedule announced
SEVEN HOME DOUBLEHEADFERS
Wolfpack Park, Lower Burrell
PRESEASON TOURNAMENT IN MYRTLE BEACH
Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic
Despite the recent spate of unseasonably warm weather, the home field of the Penn State New Kensington softball team remains unplayable, relegating preseason practice indoors. The 2012 campaign gets under way at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, with a nonconference game at Chatham University in Pittsburgh.
The Lady Lions are in the midst of conditioning, fielding and hitting in the Athletics Center. Coach Mike Marsilli's squad is working out in the weight room, doing drills in the gymnasium and taking batting practice from the pitching machine inside a 50-foot enclosed net. In addition, pitchers are throwing on the sidelines. If Punxsutawney Phil got it wrong, then an early spring is on the way and the practices can soon move outside. The team can utilize the multi-purpose grass practice field behind the Athletics Center.
Marsilli's squad is set to play seven home doubleheaders at Wolf Pack Park in Lower Burrell, Pa. The field, located at the intersection of Wild Life Lodge and Garvers Ferry roads, has served as home to the softball team the past four years. The 22-game schedule features 16 Penn State University Athletic Conference games and six non-conference contests.
The preseason schedule begins March 5 with spring training in South Carolina. The team will spend a five days in Myrtle Beach for the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic. The Lady Lions will play seven games against six schools, including Sauk Valley College from Illinois, Wentworth College from Boston, Rivier College from New Hampshire, and Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa. The itinerary is not all softball. In keeping with the spirit of campus' spring break, which coincides with the South Carolina sojourn, the players will also have some beach time.
Last year, Marsilli guided the team to a 6-6 PSUAC record and a fifth-place finish in the conference. A former assistant coach at Kiski Area High School, Marsilli begins his fourth year as head coach. He is a certified coach and conducts numerous clinics throughout the year. His assistant is Brian Eshbaugh, who was the head coach of the Lady Lions for three years, 2002-05. Eshbaugh guided New Kensington to two PSUAC championships.
For the full softball schedule, visit http://www.nk.psu.edu/StudentLife/Athletics/39086.htm online.