2010 Softball Season Preview: Infield
Feb. 2, 2010
The 2010 Oregon State softball season is just days away. The start of the 2010 campaign begins Friday, Feb. 12, at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., against Ole Miss at 8:30 a.m. PT.
Here's a look at the infield. Check osubeavers.com in coming days for a further look into the 2010 season. And follow Oregon State softball on Twitter -- OregonStateSB.
Infield Alana Ford Nikki Chandler Maggie Doremus Nicole Luchanski Lea Cavestany
5-2 • Senior (3V)
Chula Vista, Calif.
5-8 • Sophomore (1V)
(Langham Creek HS)
5-9 • Freshman (HS)
San Diego, Calif.
(Mount Carmel HS)
5-4 • Sophomore (1V)
(St. Francis Xavier HS)
5-5 • Freshman (HS)
5-10 • Freshman (HS)
Mt. Vernon, Wash.
(Mt. Vernon HS)
5-5 • Senior (3V)
(Central Catholic HS)
Senior Alana Ford (Chula Vista, Calif.) comes in with the most experience of anyone in the infield, having played the position for the past two seasons. Ford recorded a .968 fielding percentage last season, appearing in 47 games and starting 28. She had 35 putouts and 86 assists, helping turn 10 of the team’s school record 32 double plays. Offensively, she stole three bases, scored five runs and hit a pair of doubles.
“At third base is Alana Ford in her senior year,” head coach Kirk Walker said. “We’re expecting some great things from her this year. It should be a really solid position for her. Other players that could be working there are Allison Kutz and Lea Cavestany. We’ve got some depth at the corners and we have some flexibility if there are injuries or someone isn’t swinging the bat well.”
Sophomore Nikki Chandler (Houston, Texas) returns this season as the starting shortstop after a Pac-10 All-Freshman Honorable Mention season, starting all 55 games. Chandler earned 107 putouts and 124 assists, helping turn 11 double plays. Offensively, she scored 10 runs and recorded a double, triple and home run. She led the team in sacrifice hits and was walked 18 times.
“Nikki Chandler will be at shortstop,” Walker said. “I think she has the potential to be an All-Pac-10 player that can make a huge impact for us defensively. Backing her up is Lea Cavestany.”
Freshman Maggie Doremus (San Diego, Calif.) is expected to make an immediate impact, filling the second base hole left by Paige Lowe. Doremus led her Mount Carmel High School to back-to-back CIF titles at second base, being a three-time All-Palomar League First Team and All-Valley League First Team honoree. She was named Athlete of the Year by the North County Times.
“Maggie Doremus will most likely play at second base, starting there as a freshman,” Walker said. “And we feel very confident about Nicole Luchanski with what she’s gained as a freshman last year. She’s very solid on defense and her offense is coming along.”
Sophomore Nicole Luchanski (Edmonton, Alberta) appeared in 40 games last season as a pinch runner. She scored 10 runs and stole a pair of bases. Prior to playing for the Beavers, Luchanski had lettered three years in baseball at second base. She was selected to the Canadian Women’s National Baseball Team in 2006 as well as playing for six years at the national championships for the Alberta female provincial baseball teams.
The biggest question in the infield comes at first base this season.
“First base could be a wild card position for us this year,” Walker said. “We’re planning on redshirting Erin Guzy, so we’ll have a new face there. It could likely be Lea Cavestany, Allison Kutz or even Tarah Black. I think there’s a likelihood that that position could be rotating around depending on what’s happening in the lineup. All of them have played well there, look good, and I think no matter what, we’re going to have some depth there.”
Freshman Lea Cavestany (Pittsburg, Calif.) appears to be the most versatile in the infield, backing up all four positions. Walker says that she “swings the bat exceptionally well and is extremely versatile. We don’t know if she’ll be in one position or playing several, but she certainly made an impact that makes her valuable to have her in the lineup every day.” Cavestany played three positions in high school, lettering and starting all four years at Concord High School. She led her team to two co-championships and was named to the Top 100 Athletes by the Contra Costa Times.
Adding to Cavestany are other versatile players that could play a number of positions in the infield in freshman Allison Kutz and senior Tarah Black, who were introduced in yesterday’s preview. To read about the catchers, click here.
Support Oregon State University Athletics by making your tax deductible donation to the Beaver Athletic Student Fund. For more information follow this link or call 541-737-2370. You can make an “everyday champion.” Follow Beaver Athletics on twitter.