Over the years working at the Post I’ve seen my fair share of high school softball.
Based on that experience, Masuk this year has the look of a team that should make some noise in the postseason.
Granted in a one-off playoff scenario and facing a tough pitcher anything can happen, but Masuk seems to have the right balance this year.
For one, the Panthers might have more lineup depth than they’ve ever had, even during the Rachele Fico years. Top to bottom this year’s Masuk team can hit.
Pitching Tatum Buckley does enough to overpower most hitters.
The big leap forward for Masuk this year is actually not even on the field between the lines, says coach Jacqui Sheftz.
“This team is extremely focused right now,” she said. “We’re not only working on the physical aspect of the game, but we’ve worked hard on improving the mental aspect of the preparation for the game of softball. Right now we’re playing great team softball.”
And that’s the key with Masuk: team softball.
As good as Buckley is, everybody on the team contributes as they did in a 5-0 win over Lauralton Hall on Wednesday. Six different players had hits in the five-run fourth inning. In the field, everybody on Masuk made the plays they had to make.
“We just have a mindset and we’re all on the same page,” Ashely Fedor said. “Last year we were still young, now we’re all upperclassmen so we get where we stand.”
The two teams met earlier in the year. Buckley threw a perfect game vs. the Crusaders.
Still, Lauralton coach Theresa Napolitano saw improvement from her team.
“This was our measure to see if we’ve gone farther and we have,” she said. “We’re a sophomore-based team.”