Pitching depth gives Tigers room for optimism
Newcomer Dominique Rousseau has impressed her Holy Trinity softball teammates with a strong throwing arm. Photo by Carl Kotala
The roster may be full of young players, but Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy softball coach John Clarson believes the Tigers will have one big thing working in their favor this season.
“I think the major advantage we’re going to have this year is that we’ve got a No. 2 pitcher,” Clarson said. “With two pitchers, we’re going to be a lot more versatile.”
Sophomore Allison Roach, who carried the load on the mound for the Tigers last year, will be joined by eighth-grader Aylyssa Tougas, who may be young, but has plenty of travel ball experience.
Holy Trinity’s strength on the mound should help the defense, which once again will be led by junior shortstop Talia Douglas, who has committed to Radford University.
“I think it’s going to be great this year because even though some of our girls left that were kind of the core of the infield, we have some new potential people that have pretty strong arms, like Dominique (Rousseau),” Douglas said. “Her arm is really strong, so I think she’s going to be a great infielder for us at third. We have a lot of pretty good outfielders, too. They’re pretty fast.”
That would include Amelia Anello, who will be one of the Tigers top outfielders this season.
Sarah Kimmerling, whom Clarson said was the team’s most improved player, is also expected to see time at third base after spending last season in center field.
Roach or Tougas — whichever one is not pitching — will play first base. Casey Cohen, who was primarily a third or second baseman last year, will be the Tigers’ new catcher. Claire Jackering, a seventh grader, will also see time behind the plate.
“We have a lot of young infielders — Sarah Kimmerling, Isabella (Tomasura) — who are really stepping up,” Cohen said.
As for her own position switch, Cohen didn’t think it would be that much of an adjustment.
“I’ve caught before,” Cohen said. “That was my primary position when I was in little league and I’m kind of a utility player — I play wherever they put me.
“I’ll probably be moving all over the infield. I don’t think [playing catcher is] going to be that big an issue, because I have done it before.”
There is one more change for the Tigers this season: A new district. The team will play Class 5A this year with Astronaut, Titusville, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne Central Catholic, Satellite and Space Coast.
Though his team is young, Clarson believes there is plenty of potential.
“I’m being optimistic, but I think we can get to the championship game if everything falls into place,” he said. “I’m kind of anxious to get the season started and see where [we’re at].”