Mathews’ softball team had an unexpected season last year, finishing with a 25-6 record, and as the Division IV state runner-up.
“It’s slightly nerve racking just because last year we had our goals for ourselves, but a lot of people didn’t expect a lot from us,” says senior shorstop Jessica Marsico.
This year, that’s all changed. The goals are tougher, and the expectations are higher. “You win state,” continues Marsico. “You can treat it like stairs or ladders, take it one step at a time to get to the top, but essentially the top is our goal, and we want to get there and we want to win.”
Jim Nicula, Mathews head coach says, “The expectations are out the roof. We went there last year, we finished as runner up, what is your goal? It’s gotta be to win it, when you have everybody back.”
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That’s right. Mathews graduated only one senior, so all the key players are back. And, there’s a new addition to the coaching staff. She’s a Mathews grad, Division one All-American, and Greek National team member. The Mustangs believe Alesha Perry is the one missing link on the road that leads to state.
“You can’t play at the level she’s been at, and not be well versed in just about the entire game,” says Nicula of his new assistant. “We learn stuff everyday, new stuff everyday,” adds senior center fielder Tabitha Granelly. “She knows what she’s talking about. She helps our mid-infield all the time. She’s just perfect. The perfect coach honestly.”
“I’m a hawk when it comes to the fine details of the game and just doing everything technically right,” comments Perry. “I really think this year we’re focusing on the little things that seem insignificant, but will make a big difference in the end.”
A difference that will hopefully allow the Mustangs to finish their unfinished business.