Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 29, 2015 at 12:07 am Contact Liam: [email protected] Leigh Ross expected Nicole Lundstrom to be her catcher for four years.But when she transferred to Providence in the offseason, Ross, the SU head coach was faced with the task of replacing arguably her best offensive weapon.This year, she’ll do that by turning to a two-catcher rotation of sophomore Alyssa Dewes and senior Julie Wambold. They’ll take over responsibilities behind the plate and fill the void offensively.“As a coach you never know what’s going to come up,” Ross said “… and so I’m asking the two of them to play important roles for us.”Lundstrom was the Orange’s starting catcher in her freshman season, ranking first on the team in at-bats (154), second in runs batted in (32), third in runs scored (29) and fourth in batting average (.312). Ross said the team would miss her bat, but also said that Dewes and Wambold are more than capable of filling the void.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDewes and Wambold hit .307 and .309, respectively last season, however, neither played an inning at catcher. While replicating Lundstrom’s power will be hard to do, both players were regulars in the SU lineup last season. Their offensive contributions were enough for Ross to expect them both to be in the lineup no matter who is behind the plate.Ross said the starting catcher would be determined game-by-game and would see how it played out from there. Dewes and Wambold both believe the change in position is only making them work harder.“We push each other to do better,” Dewes said. “Watching her work and get after it in practice only makes me want to do the same. I don’t think we’re competing with each other.”Defensively, the transition for both players hasn’t been as tough as it would be teaching the position to someone for the first time. Dewes and Wambold both played catcher in high school so there is a level of familiarity.Dewes was a catcher throughout her childhood and high school and even was originally recruited to play catcher. Ross described Wambold as an “all-around athlete” who also caught a little bit in high school.She receives “quietly and smoothly” behind the plate, Ross said, having great hands and a quick release. Those physical tools match well with the experience and confidence she brings to the table as a senior. Dewes, though a sophomore, has the stronger arm.“Having two great catchers is going to be great this year. They each do something different really well behind the plate and in the way they handle pitchers,” pitcher Lindsay Larkin said. “Every pitcher is comfortable with both of them calling a game.”The catchers have been working on lots of drills to improve on blocking loose balls, framing pitches and picking runners off base.The most improvement Ross has seen has come from live bullpen sessions where Dewes and Wambold have been developing chemistry with the team’s pitchers. She is encouraged by what she’s seen, despite the fact that neither has caught in a game for SU before.“It’s like riding a bike,” Wambold said. “It doesn’t take much to get back in the swing of things. Just lots of reps.” Comments
Ghana defender Richard Kissi Boateng and Midfielder Solomon Asante left for DR Congo on Thursday night to join their new club TP Mazembe.The players who played a part in Ghana’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations campaign in South Africa signed for the Lubumbashi-based side before the tournament.Kissi and Asante caught the eyes of Mazembe officials after their impressive performance for Berekum Chelsea in last year’s CAF Champions League.“It’s a great honour for me to move a step ahead in life, my move to Mazembe is a big platform for me”, Kissi Boateng told JOY Sports before their departure“Mazembe is a great club so I’m hoping to make a mark there”.They will now play along with former teammate at Berekum Chelsea Gladson Awako and former Asante Kotoko captain Daniel Nii Adjei.