Lady Highlanders softball team set to begin 2019 season

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WEST MILFORD – The West Milford High School girls softball team is set to kick off the 2019 season against Wayne Hills on April 3.

“I believe we will be a contender because of the experience we have,” said head coach Nicole Gwinnett. “We return seven starters and have depth, which will help fill the holes due to (last year's) graduations.”

This will be Gwinnett’s eighth season as head coach, although she’s been a part of the school’s softball program for 17 years.

Some of the returning players include outfielder Natalie Marzalik, pitcher/first baseman Jessica Perucki, and third baseman Mackenzie McGuinness.

According to Coach Gwinnett, all three bring the most experience as they’ve been playing varsity softball since their freshman year.

They’ve also been named the 2019 team captains as Perucki looks to improve on a season in which she reached 100 career hits as a junior.

“Offensively, we can be very strong,” said Coach Gwinnett. “We have depth and feel confident in making game-time decisions when we need them.”

According to the coach, the team’s biggest obstacle will be filling some of the main positions left vacant due to the graduation of 2018 seniors Abigail Porch, Alexa Barca, and Kayla Yuhas.

“We have focused on defense,” Coach Gwinnett said. “Making as few errors (as possible) and being aware of each situation.”

The coach cites hard work, dedication, and a team-first mentality as the keys to a successful 2019 season.

The Highlanders are set to head to Disney in Orlando, Florida, where they are scheduled to play six scrimmages ahead of the season.

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