Bishops trying to rebuild with young roster
By C.R. Cumbee
Daniel Island—Although the Bishop England softball team only graduated three seniors and one starter last spring, head coach Chris Cusack knew he would still have a young team this season. The Bishops have endured some growing pains, but sit at 5-6 overall (2-3) at the midway point in region play.
“We never start a season thinking we can’t go all the way,” said Cusack. “We’re building and developing and trying to eliminate those rookie errors. If we can start getting the mental part of the game down pat, we can beat anyone. We just have to get over those hurdles. It’s coming along slowly. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
There are three seniors starters, including shortstop Elena Salmorin, who is hitting over .500 this year. Pitcher Anastasia Briggs is batting over .300 in only her second year playing for the Bishops and has good control inside the circle. Catcher Lexi Mummert is the other senior.
“We’ve come together as a team. We don’t have any small groups. It’s just one big group. I think that has a lot to do with the seniors. Elena has really stepped up and taken the younger ones under her wing and showed them the right steps to take,” Cusack said.
The lone junior in the lineup is centerfielder Brianna Mendoza. First baseman Katy Browning (.300 average) and left fielder Celia Campbell are the only sophomore starters. Freshman right fielder Nicole Boyd is batting over .300 as well while freshman third baseman and cleanup hitter Kayla Runey is north of .400.
“That’s a name you’re going to hear a lot over the next four years,” Cusack said of Runey. “She’ll have plenty of colleges looking at her. She’s an absolute brick wall at third base, has a bullet for an arm, and hits like a senior that’s been playing for years.”
Rounding out the initial rotation is seventh-grade second baseman Lucy Sawadske, who has a batting average of close to .400. Sophomore Gabby Hogan and freshman Molly McManus have both gotten playing time behind the plate.
“I’ll have really high expectations as these girls get a little more maturity and get stronger, physically and mentally. They’re going to be a force to reckon with over the next two or three years,” Cusack said.
Other players on the roster this season include Braylee Bennett, Celia Fanning, Addison Stowell, Mariana Bakle, Julia Seabrook and Britney Cano.