Marblehead softball hopes hard work pays off

For Marblehead softball coach Johnny Gold, if this year?s team wants to get into the state tournament for the 10th time in his 11 seasons, there will be no substitute for effort and hard work.
?You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don?t put the work in, you?re not going to have good results,” Gold said. “We have to be focused and committed every time we take the field in practice and take the field for games.”
Several returning players will be fighting for spots in the starting lineup. With positions open all over the diamond, the biggest question mark is finding a pitcher to take over for Michaela LeBlanc, who is now throwing her changeup and fastball at Westfield State College.
?Junior Emily Promise is back, and she?ll get a good look on the mound, we also have a talented freshman, Maddie Ernst, who we hope can help us as far as pitching goes,” Gold said. “I?ve never had the luxury of having two pitchers, hopefully this is the year.
?Emily has played some second base for us, and she has been working hard in the off-season, and we?re hoping she can help us,” Gold said. “There are big shoes to fill from last year, Michaela LeBlanc was the winningest pitcher in Marblehead history and Olivia Vener is the all-time hit leader with 105, so we?ll be looking for some hits.
?We have a good core of young players, including junior captain Allison Kapoll, who is a good leader and a very good ballplayer, who can catch and play outfield,” Gold said.
Junior McKenzie Joyce will be playing several outfield positions, but is hoping to nail down the starting spot in centerfield. She is also a threat to steal bases.
Opening day is set for Wednesday, April 9, with a visit from Winthrop. Last year?s team finished 10-11, and lost to Arlington Catholic in the first round of the Division 2 North playoffs.
?We?ve made the playoffs every year I’ve been here and my freshman year we had an amazing season, just amazing, and hopefully we can get that vibe back, put some wins together, and hopefully challenge for the conference and make it to the state tournament,” Joyce said.Scot Cooper can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @bscooper60

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