Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

This Year, la Roche Softball Has a Full Deck to Play With

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

This Year, la Roche Softball Has a Full Deck to Play With

Article excerpt

Orie Gentile didn't make many coaching moves last year.

That's because Gentile, in his ninth year as the La Roche College women's softball coach, had no moves to make.

Through injuries, players leaving the team and other reasons, La Roche played most of the 2004 season with just nine players.

"When we wanted to make a move, I looked in the dugout and there were no moves to make," said Gentile, 59, a Shaler resident.

After an 0-8 start, LaRoche finished 9-15 last season -- the worst record in Gentile's stint as coach. His four previous seasons had produced records of 25-6-1, 20-6, 23-7 and 27-3.

"Believe me, it wasn't a pleasant year," said Gentile, who entered the 2005 season with an overall record of 148-65-1 and three Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championships.

This season could bring happy days back to La Roche softball.

The Redhawks have a roster of 21 players this time around and recently returned from their annual Florida trip with a 5-1-1 record, allowing just six runs in seven games. La Roche improved its record to 7-1-1 last Wednesday when it won its first two AMCC league contests against Penn State Altoona, 6-3 and 11-1.

Besides more players, the biggest difference for La Roche this year compared to last is pitching depth.

On its trip to Florida, freshman Bethany Peracchino compiled a 3- 0-1 record with a 0.00 ERA, allowing just 15 hits in 26 innings of work. Another freshman, Mallory Conger, went 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA and allowed just eight hits in 15 innings of work. Peracchino went to Forest Hills High School, located outside Johnstown, while Conger is from Poland, Ohio.

Last year, Pine-Richland grad Brittany Haggerty carried the pitching load for La Roche. She went 8-6 with a 2.44 ERA, but missed 10 games with a sore shoulder. In the games she missed, the Redhawks went 1-9.

Haggerty pitched just three innings on the Florida trip. …

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