Lenape Valley softball preview

| 04 Apr 2012 | 01:33

    STANHOPE — While it’s impossible to say for sure how the upcoming season will play out for the Lenape Valley High School softball team, there are some indicators of just how well the Patriots will perform on the field this spring - and they're positive. The Patriots hope to carry on the momentum that they gained last season and with an ample amount of experienced, talented players returning to the roster mixed with new players that are looking to have a positive influence on the squad as well. Lenape Valley, which tallied a 15-7 overall record and were co-champions in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference Freedom Division in 2011. “We are looking to build upon last season’s success," said Lenape Valley head coach Bill Moore. “Defending the league crown is our first goal. We are also hoping to do well in the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament - there are many talented teams in those three counties." Among the returnees for the Patriots are Deanna Utter (senior, catcher/third base), Jenna Tambasco (senior, second base), Caitlin Zaleski (senior, pitcher/third base), Shannon Fluke (senior, outfield), Ashley Krompier (senior, outfield), Maria Lacatena (junior, catcher), Erika Gowe (junior, outfield/second base), Marissa Quaglia (sophomore, short stop), Kaela Romano (sophomore, pitcher/third base) and Brianna Simko (sophomore, first base). Newcomers who can have a major impact for the Patriots this spring include Maggie Reilly (junior, outfield), Shannon Rohan (junior, second base), Rachel Breuninger (freshman, outfield/pitcher), Megan Buonpane (freshman, catcher/outfield) and Ally Tufaro (freshman, outfield/first base). “I'm looking for the seniors to lead this team," Moore said. “Utter is our captain. Deanna, Tambasco and Zaleski are four-year starters and the team feeds off them." The Patriots have five consecutive home games scheduled from April 2 through April 11. On April 14, the Patriots will participate in the Randolph Challenge at Brundage Park in Randolph. “We have stepped up our out of conference opponents to help prepare us for a state title run," Moore said. “Some opponents include West Essex, Morris Catholic, Morris Knolls, North Hunterdon, Cedar Grove, Mount Saint Dominic, Roxbury, West Morris, Jefferson, Randolph and Sparta."