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Weir Eyes a Fast Start

Buffo will anchor squad behind plate

March 22, 2013
By TONY VIOLA , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WEIRTON - If the Weir softball team wants to see success in 2013, then, according to Red Riders coach Dave Hinerman, the team will have to have a set the tone from the very first pitch.

''I think our season will depend on our start,'' Hinerman said.

''If we get off to a good start, I think we'll be pretty hard to beat. The goal is to get ready for sectionals.''

A year ago, the team won its sectional before being ousted by Magnolia in the regional semifinal.

Gone from the squad due to graduation are Kaitlin Fodor, Taylor Gianangeli, and Danica Rasicci, while starter Alyssa Shingle has decided she will also not be joining the team for her senior season.

''They'll be hard to replace,'' Hinerman said of the seniors. ''All three were starters for four years.''

Though the team did lose key pieces, this year's team looks to have a solid nucleus made up of four seniors, all of whom are starters.

''Our seniors are the true leaders of the team,'' Hinerman said.''They all lettered last year and we expect a lot out of them. They're all co-captains as well.''

Senior All-Valley honoree Meikka Buffo will serve as the team's catcher, while fellow senior Micah DiBacco will take the circle.

Seniors Haley McLaughlin will handle second base and Emily Zatezalo is set to see time at first.

Sophomore Allison Fuccy will backup Zatezalo at first.

Juniors Ashlyn Drizake and Jillian Karavanic round out the infield as Drizake will serve as the team's shortstop and Karavanic will handle third-base duties.

Junior Morgan Rice will be in right field, while sophomore Breanna Rosnick is in center.

The starting left fielder job is still up for grabs between sophomores Marlee Harris and Samantha Tate.

Kelley LeMasters will be the team's utility player and according to Hinerman, the junior is ''every coach's dream.''

''She will do anything you ask her do to,'' Hinerman said. ''When you tell her to go out there, she'll not only do what you tell her, she'll go out and try to be better then the person she is replacing.''

Sophomore Abbey Pratt will also serve ''anywhere we need her,'' while sophomore Allison Fuccy and freshmen Adrianna DiMatteis and Sara Merideth round out the roster.

Hinerman is assisted by Sam Neisslein and Vince McIntosh.

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