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Donâ€™t expect anything to surprise the Chariho softball team this spring.
Between seniors Sydney Scott, Becca Oâ€™Donnell, Skye Hart and Vicky Ferraro the group has seen just about everything over the past few seasons.
Two years ago the Chargers were one of the favorites to win the Division I title after securing the second seed in the tournament but were bounced from the double-elimination bracket in just two games after upsets at the hand of No. 7 North Kingstown and No. 6 Toll Gate.
Last spring little was expected of ninth-seeded Chariho but after falling to eventual champion Lincoln in the first round the Chargers upset No. 6 seeded Smithfield to advance in the consolation bracket.
In the next round against Bay View the Chargers played likely what was their best game all season before falling to the Bengals 2-1 in 10 innings.
This core group of seniors
has been both the hunters and the hunted, so donâ€™t expect anything to rattle these seasoned Chargers.
â€śItâ€™s our year to bounce back,â€ť Scott says. â€śI think weâ€™re going to do really well this year.â€ť
For a team looking to make a deep playoff run the Chargers couldnâ€™t have gotten off to a better start so far.
Chariho opened with a 7-0 shutout of Mount St. Charles on April 3, Friday it bested Smithfield 11-5 and Monday the Chargers took down Barrington 11-3.
Against the Eagles junior India Oâ€™Neil â€“ who will spell Oâ€™Donnell at times this season in the circle â€“ got the win after allowing one earned run on four hits in four innings while striking out three.
â€śThe biggest thing for us [Monday] was India Oâ€™Neil pitching,â€ť Chariho coach Dave Petrocelli says. â€śObviously Beccaâ€™s our pitcher we need to get India ready.â€ť
According to Petrocelli, Ferraro has been on fire to start the season and nothing changed Monday as the senior catcher went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
â€śSheâ€™s been red hot,â€ť Petrocelli says. â€śSheâ€™s going to get some notice in this state if she keeps going the way sheâ€™s going.â€ť
According to Scott the teamâ€™s greatest strength â€“ at least so far â€“ is its hitting.
â€śItâ€™s all been going very well,â€ť Scott says. â€śWeâ€™re really good at our bats so thatâ€™s been our high note.â€ť
The fact that the teamâ€™s designated player â€“ sophomore Brittany Place â€“ hit seventh in the lineup Monday letâ€™s you know how strong of a hitting team this really is.
Also expected to play a major role on this seasonâ€™s team are right fielder junior Alexis Marsella, left fielder junior Brianna Cole and first baseman junior Jess Ryan, each of whom hit second, fourth and fifth in the Chargersâ€™ lineup Monday.
Marsella will be particularly important this season as she fills in for Sue Beil, an All-State right fielder last season who was lost for the year after injuring her knee during the basketball season.
Second baseman junior Meghan Rousseau and third baseman freshman Lexi Desjardins â€“ although Oâ€™Neil will play third when not on the mound â€“ should also contribute this spring, as should reserves Victoria Vieira, Jillian Rios, Karli Morgan, Kayla Adams, Jamie Foster and Taylor Heaney.
The Chargers were back in action Wednesday against also unbeaten Cranston West (results unavailable at press time) and will return to the diamond Tuesday at 3 p.m. when they travel to take on East Providence.