Union Local softball looking to clear next step


Times Leader Sports Writer

MORRISTOWN — Union Local surprised a lot of people last spring when it advanced to the Division III District championship game. Because of that, the Jets won’t sneak up on anyone this season as they return a good portion of the roster.

The team, however, did get a late start due to the girls basketball team reaching the D-III Final Four this year, but according to veteran head coach Melissa Lahna the girls are ready to go.

“Coming off a Final Four basketball season, these girls are excited to get on the field and make this season one for the history books. This year’s team is determined to surpass the accomplished goal of last season,” Lahna said. “They are communicating and working hard pushing one another to give their best. Our goal this season is just as last, that being to win the day and focus on each inning and our goals within those innings.

“As a coaching staff, we have been working on a plethora of situations to prepare and prep for each game this season. We have a ton of different looks on defense of who can play where and when on the field. We are excited to see this group put up a lot of wins this season and be efficient. It will be a fun season watching our six seniors lead the way for us.”

Those seniors are Ava Lucas (3B/2B/OF), Alleigh Cheatham (1B/3B), Hannah Merritt (SS/2B/OF), Marissa McGary (C/2B/OF), Keira Gregor (P/1B/3B) and Abi Marinelli (1B/OF).

Juniors include Emily Kellaway (C/SS/OF), Torre Kildow (1B), Ashtyn Deese (2B/OF) and Haleigh Romshak (OF).

Sophomores are Breanna Barbe (P/UTIL), Brynna Jennewein C/1B), Lauren Miller (OF) and Hallee McGary (OF).

Freshman include Izzy Bashline (P/C/1B), Gabby Hackney (OF), Brooke Kreider (OF), Alayna Logan (UTIL), Kayelynn McBride (UTIL), Kyree Noble (2B/OF) and Emma Yager (UTIL).

Lahna said one of the strengths of the team is its numbers.

“Having a 21-player roster is a huge strength. We are deep 1-9 on both sides of the ball,” she added. “Being able to have depth on the bench is always a good thing. Teammates are eager to get in and compete. In addition, each player pushing the other allows us to embrace each other’s success. We are a selfless team that can’t wait to put up some big wins and get after it this season.”

On the other side of the coin, she said the team is working on its weaknesses every day in practice.

“Each player and coach has our weaknesses but as a family we work and improve those everyday without judgment,” she continued. “This team is unique as you can talk about the weakness and get a plan to improve it and for that we are stronger. This group of girls is really honest with one another and that makes our family stronger because we can be honest with what is or isn’t working and make it better or change it for the betterment of the team. Sometimes we are too honest with each other but that comes with the territory to achieve the goals set forth for our season.”

Graduation took Casey Kildow, Rylee Magnani and Haley Smith.

Lahna has a career record of 222-147, with most of those results coming at Bellaire. She is assisted by Ali Delaney.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today