Weather or not, it’s time to play softball


First Posted: 3/23/2013

The Wyoming Valley Conference softball season opens this week. The Pittston Area Lady Patriots and the Wyoming Area Lady Warriors both open on the road. PA is at Nanticoke Tuesday. WA opens at Tunkhannock Thursday, weather permitting.

The home openers are Thursday for PA versus Coughlin and the following Monday, April 8, for WA versus Dallas.

PA is in Division 1 with Valley West, Crestwood, Hazleton, Nanticoke and Coughlin

WA is in Division 2 with Berwick, Tunkhannock, Lake Lehman and Dallas.

Each team plays its division opponents twice and one game with the opposite division. That gives WA 14 games and PA 15.

The teams are scheduled to play each other on April 22 at Wyoming Area.

Wyoming Area

Wyoming Area won the WVC Division I West title last season, the first WVC title of any kind for the program since 1991. They reached the District 2 AAA championship game where they lost to Valley View, which wound up in the state championship game. The Warriors finished 11-5 overall.

Barry Pryzbyla takes over as head coach. He was the assistant last season under Stephanie Griffin, who moved out of the area.

With eight of the first 10 players from last season back, the Warriors have high expectations. Pryzbyla said after winning the first WVC title in 21 years, the next logical step is to get back to the District 2 title game and win it for the first time in 31 years.

That said, the playoffs are a long way off and he doesn’t want to girls to take anything for granted. “If they play up to their potential the should be able to do it, but it’s going to be tough. It’s not going to be a walk through the park. All the teams got better. There is no easy game. I told them, you might be told you are the team to beat, but you have to play between the lines. The other team is not going to roll the ball on the field and say ‘you win.’ The competition is there.”

Pitching, speed and defense keyed the winning last season, but scoring was off. They won several low-scoring games in the late inings and scored only one in the district championship game.

“Hitting was a weakness last year,” Pryzbyla said. “Everybody knows it. We’re spending more time on that this year and they’re doing a good job. But we’re not forgetting the other things.”

Of course, most of that working on hitting is being done indoors due to the weather, but that’s a league-wide problem.

They have senior leadership in Alex Holtz, the no. 1 pitcher; Serra Degnan, a four-year starter at short, and Kaitlyn Kross.

They should get a full year out of Pryzbyla’s daughter, Andrienne, who missed most of last season with an arm injury. That should help the lineup.

The have two other capable pitchers in junior Nicole Cumbo and sophomore Lauren Maloney.

The rest of the roster includes: juniors, Drew Bednarski, Lindsay Carey, Kat Sokirka and Nicole Turner; sophomores, Emily Wolfgang, Julez DeAngelo and Jules Scappatici and freshmen Bree Bednarski, Sarah Coolbaugh and Grace Gober.

Pittston Area

Head coach Dave Deluca was a last minute hire after the previous coach resigned before last season. The Lady Patriots had problems in a lot of areas and wound up 1-13.

Not that DeLuca predicts ‘x’ number of ‘ws’, but this year should be different. “There is excitement around the program for the first time in years,” DeLuca said. “The girls were very dedicated in the off season. We’re young with a lot of freshmen and sophomores, but we feel we can play with any team in the league on any given day.”

DeLuca said defense, pitching and team speed look like strengths. Youth maybe a weakness now, but DeLuca believes it will translate to a strength as they play together over the next couple seasons. Pitcher Taylor Baloga though a freshman, has been training year-round. Junior Alyssa Talerico can also pitch and she can catch and play infield.

The team’s only senior is short stop, Antoinette Scialpi. The rest of the roster includes returners junior Kaitlyn Simyan; sophomores, Lauren Dragon, Julie Lieback, Theresa Domarasky and first-year varsity players, sophomore, Liz Cappelloni and freshmen, Julie Silinskie, Addison Hazlet, Marley O’Brien, Kassidy Roche and Mindina Lieback.

PA Schedule

April 2 at Nanticoke

April 4 vs. Coughlin

April 9 vs. Hazleton

April 11 at Valley West

April 15 vs. Crestwood

April 17 at Tunkhannock

April 19 vs. Lake Lehman

April 22 at Wyoming Area

April 24 vs. Dallas

April 26 at Berwick

May 1 vs. Nanticoke

May 3 at Coughlin

May 6 at Hazleton

May 9 vs. Valley West

May 13 at Crestwood

WA Schedule

April 4 at Tunkhannock

April 8 vs. Dallas

April 12 at Lake Lehman

April 15 at Berwick

April 17 vs. Coughlin

April 19 at Hazleton

April 22 vs. Pittston Area

April 24 at Nanticoke

April 26 vs. Valley West

April 29 at Crestwood

May 1 vs. Lake Lehman

May 3 vs. Tunkhannock

May 6 at Dallas

May 13 vs. Berwickpitchers in junior Nicole Cumbo and sophomore Lauren Maloney.

The rest of the roster includes: juniors, Drew Bednarski, Lindsay Carey, Kat Sokirka and Nicole Turner; sophomores, Emily Wolfgang, Julez DeAngelo and Jules Scappatici and freshmen Bree Bednarski, Sarah Coolbaugh and Grace Gober.

Pittston Area

Head coach Dave Deluca was a last minute hire after the previous coach resigned before last season. The Lady Patriots had problems in a lot of areas and wound up 1-13.

Not that DeLuca predicts ‘x’ number of ‘ws’, but this year should be different. “There is excitement around the program for the first time in years,” DeLuca said. “The girls were very dedicated in the off season. We’re young with a lot of freshmen and sophomores, but we feel we can play with any team in the league on any given day.”

DeLuca said defense, pitching and team speed look like strengths. Youth maybe a weakness now, but DeLuca believes it will translate to a strength as they play together over the next couple seasons. Pitcher Taylor Baloga though a freshman, has been training year-round. Junior Alyssa Talerico can also pitch and she can catch and play infield.

The team’s only senior is short stop, Antoinette Scialpi. The rest of the roster includes returners junior Kaitlyn Simyan; sophomores, Lauren Dragon, Julie Lieback, Theresa Domarasky and first-year varsity players, sophomore, Liz Cappelloni and freshmen, Julie Silinskie, Addison Hazlet, Marley O’Brien, Kassidy Roche and Mindina Lieback.

PA Schedule

April 2 at Nanticoke

April 4 vs. Coughlin

April 9 vs. Hazleton

April 11 at Valley West

April 15 vs. Crestwood

April 17 at Tunkhannock

April 19 vs. Lake Lehman

April 22 at Wyoming Area

April 24 vs. Dallas

April 26 at Berwick

May 1 vs. Nanticoke

May 3 at Coughlin

May 6 at Hazleton

May 9 vs. Valley West

May 13 at Crestwood

WA Schedule

April 4 at Tunkhannock

April 8 vs. Dallas

April 12 at Lake Lehman

April 15 at Berwick

April 17 vs. Coughlin

April 19 at Hazleton

April 22 vs. Pittston Area

April 24 at Nanticoke

April 26 vs. Valley West

April 29 at Crestwood

May 1 vs. Lake Lehman

May 3 vs. Tunkhannock

May 6 at Dallas

May 13 vs. Berwick

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