Five seniors return to Lady Goldbacks
Newburgh’s softball team finished under .500 a year ago and missed the playoffs with a close loss at the end of the season.
The Lady Goldbacks return with five seniors, after losing such notables as Taylor Brummell and Kristen Steele. But they get a new coach, Luke Pereira, after Beth Fletcher, decided to relinquish the position.
“I enjoyed coaching JV the last two years, and when Coach (Beth) Fletcher decided not do it, I thought it would be a lot of fun,” said Pereira, following some fielding practice on the team’s home field.
Pereira was also once the boys’ varsity basketball coach within the last decade before recently coaching softball, and he now has the task of getting back the Lady Goldbacks on a competitive and winning track.
“They finished (last season) on a down swing, “ he said, “so I think they are a little hungry, at least the returning players. They are acting like it.”
The Lady Goldbacks come back without Brummell’s strong arm behind the plate, her clutch bat and Steele’s play in the outfield. Instead, they’ll rely on Taylor Solomon’s defense at short and her bat to help get the job done.
Solomon, a senior, will be joined by Jen Orr, a senior, who will play the corners at first and third. Julie DiSpigna, a returning player, will also play third and catch. Taylor LaFrance, a junior, returns to play second and the outfield.
Sarah Colotti, a freshman, brings her hot bat up from the JV team, and she’ll play the infield and the outfield during his first varsity season. Sister Victoria, a senior, will be playing her first varsity season after using her tenacity to play varsity lacrosse, soccer and basketball.
The elder Colotti is expected to play first base and catch, and Pereira expects her to make an impact on the team’s upcoming season.
“I think she’ll be a major contributor,” he said.
Courtney Jones will catch, play first and the outfield, and Sam LaBarbera, a junior, will play the outfield and infield. Junior Jackie Lauritano will catch and play third. Bailey Workman, Carley Vornlocher, Gabrielle Placencia and Birgitta Anderson will play in the outfield.
Brittney Drake returns to pitch for the Lady Goldbacks, and she’ll join Jacqueline Doogan on the mound.
“I’m hopeful we’ll come together as a team,” said Pereira. “It’s a young mix, but if we come together, I think we’ll be OK.”
There are no captains on the team, but Solomon is expected to be a leader on the team, and she wants to leave the Lady Goldbacks on a winning note.
“I have high goals for us,” she said.
By Bond Brungard