March 29, 2006
It All Starts With Edwards
By Rich Smidt
The sound that resonates when the ball Riverhead softball pitcher Laurie Edwards' throws meets the catcher's glove is a distinct sound that makes anyone in earshot take notice. Edwards doesn't simply throw the ball. She delivers pitches in the same way that a great blues guitarist strikes a power chord, with passion and authority.
Edwards, a senior and five-year starter on the Blue Waves was an All-County selection last season, winning 12 games, allowing one earned run per start and striking out 135 in League III — one of the most competitive softball leagues on Long Island.
Now that Riverhead has moved down to compete in League IV this season, Edwards' domination of opposing batters should progress to a point where the word shutout is regularly associated with her performances.
Edwards is also the Waves' (15-7 last season) top returning hitter, batting .375 last year with a team-leading six home runs and 25 RBI. One has to believe that she'll easily top those impressive stats this season now that the competition won't be nearly as fierce.
Last year's League III Rookie of the Year winner Jackie Zilnicki, a sweet-swinging, slick fielding shortstop returns for her sophomore season and she'll be joined in the infield by starting catcher Melissa Corwin and second baseman Michelle Smith, both seniors.
Head coach Bob Fox is known for his ability to find young talent for the varsity roster and players such as Bethany Carron, Kalie Pipczynski, Amelia Czelatka, Emily Commins, Lauren Zilnicki, Amanda Riley, Jackie Knoneberg, Kaitlyn Barry, Alicia Messina, and Nicole Ofranitopous are all expected to see action this season.
The Waves open the League IV season this Friday when they host Bellport at 3:45.