New Kensington softball schedule announced
Six home doubleheaders;
preseason games in Florida
The Penn State New Kensington softball team will put the Alle-Kiski Valley’s capricious frozen fields in the rear-view mirror March 9 as they head to Orlando, Fla., during spring break for sunshine and snow-free softball diamonds.
The preseason schedule begins March 10 with spring training at Hancock Park in Clermont. The New Kensington Lady Lions will play six preseason games against teams from five states -- West Virginia Wesleyan University; Mott Community College and Macomb Community College from Michigan; Cuyahoga Community College from Cleveland; Heartland Community College from Illinois; and Community College of Rhode Island.
Head coach Mike Marsili’s Lady Lions are in the midst of conditioning, fielding and hitting in the Athletics Center. Marsili'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. When the weather breaks, the team can utilize the multi-purpose grass practice field behind the Athletics Center.
The 2014 campaign gets under way at 1 p.m., Sunday, March 16, with a nonconference doubleheader at Chatham University in Pittsburgh. The home opener is set for 2 p.m., Friday, March 21, with a doubleheader against Southern State (Ohio) Community College at K-9 Officer Derek Kotecki Memorial Field (formerly Wolf Pack Park) in Lower Burrell, Pa.
Marsili's team is set to play six home doubleheaders at Kotecki Field. Located at the intersection of Wild Life Lodge and Garvers Ferry roads, the municipal field has served as home to the softball team the past six years. The 26-game schedule features 18 Penn State University Athletic Conference games and eight nonconference contests.
Last year, Marsili guided the squad to 16th in the nation in the USCAA with a 9-7 conference record and a 10-12 overall mark. With a blend of clutch hitting, power and speed, the team batted .285 with 14 home runs (fourth in the USCAA), 95 runs scored and 25 stolen bases. The pitching staff combined for two shutouts, 118 strike outs and a 2.91 ERA.
A former assistant coach at Kiski Area High School, Marsili begins his sixth 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 and roster, visit http://psnkathletics.com/sports/sball/index