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Mathews seems to reload with young core | News, Sports, Jobs


Mar 17, 2023

Workers file photo / Brian Yauger
Mathews’ Olivia Matheny celebrates with teammates all through a game final season Matheny is set to be a single returner who will make an influence for Mathews.

A single of the gold needs of Trumbull County softball much more than the final decade and a half has been Mathews. When the group has a young core, the expectations are the identical this year as they are just about each and every single year.

Promptly following a quick reprieve to invest time with household, a familiar face is back to guide the Mustangs technique this season. Longtime coach Jim Nicula is returning to the Mathews dugout for his 12th season with the technique specifically exactly where he’s amassed a record of 207-47 at the helm.

The Mustangs boast a young lineup, but there’s lots of knowledge nonetheless in the mix. Mathews returns a sophomore-heavy lineup that saw a considerable quantity of playing time final year. Headlined by sophomores Olivia Matheny, Ava Shugart, Kelsie Newsome and Ashia Pate, as efficiently as lone senior Gianna Toto, the Mustangs are in wonderful shape heading into the year.

“There’s a lot of equal talent,” Nicula talked about. There are tiny ones competing for positions appropriate now and of course the returning starters from final year, they unquestionably usually will get initial run in there and initial likelihood to nab it but they’re acquiring to operate truly tough. The majority of them essentially are functioning truly tough to hold positions and go on but yeah, we’re accurate. We’re essentially excited.”

Every single position is going to be handled with a committee tactic early in the year. Like Nicula talked about, the starters from final season will get initial crack, but they will have other girls nipping at their heels all via the option strategy.

With that talked about, the loss of Emma Gates will absolutely be felt this season, but Mathews is not in a dire predicament in the circle. In truth, the Mustangs have no shortage of fresh arms to throw into the mix when needed.

With out going into comprehensive rotation specifics, Nicula pointed out that he’s considerably much more than confident in his crop of pitchers this year.

“The significant vital is going to be pitching, but I’ll inform you what, we truly have seven tiny ones that pitch,” Nicula talked about. “We have four sophomores and three freshmen, and we’re truly delighted with them. We’ve had a couple of scrimmage games so far indoors and we did truly efficiently. We’re playing Boardman this weekend which will be thrilling to see how they fare against a essentially great group that year in and year out, is accurate sturdy. We’re excited. I do not really feel our pitching is going to fall off.”

Far more than the years, pitching has been a strength for Mathews, as the Mustangs have had numerous all-state pitchers.

“We’ve been blessed to have all-state pitching year right away following year right away following year,” Nicula talked about. “Going all the way back to Cheyenne Eggens from the early 2010s. Cheyenne was all-state. Then we had Nicole Watts, who was an all-state pitcher and then Addy (Jarvis) and then, we had a year or two specifically exactly where we had Becca (Landis) and Emma (Gates) who had been young, but then they ended up every single becoming all-state pitchers.”

That level of outcomes in the circle and level of group outcomes has created playing for Mathews a tough point to do. There’s a greater bar you have to meet. With that talked about, Nicula thinks he has the appropriate roster that can get back to specifically exactly where they want to be. Generating the regionals has been great, but Nicula and the Mustangs are aiming a smaller bit bigger than that.

“When they play softball at Mathews, you have a legacy to uphold, and the bar has been set truly greater,” Nicula talked about. “…We’re competing for a league championship and then district and beyond. Regardless of who is correct right here, we reload, and that is our aim to get back to the state level. We’ve fallen short in the regional level not as well lengthy ago, and we want to get much more than that hump, and there’s no result in why we truly really feel that we can’t do that this year.

“The tiny ones operate truly tough and maintain the course and exhibit what we’re attempting to get them to do and you attitude and perform you know me that is my most considerable point. You can move mountains when you have a wonderful attitude and you give wonderful perform. Sometimes that is way considerably much more essential than the capability level you have.”

The road to get to Akron in June is not an rapid a single, so the Mustangs prepared themselves with a rigorous frequent season schedule. In addition to a difficult league slate with perennial best rated teams Pymatuning Valley and Bristol and up-and-comers Chalker, Mathews will be taking on some of the state’s most powerful teams.

As a aspect of the Wendy’s Classic in April, the Mustangs are scheduled to face Danville, Marlington and Strasburg.

Mathews will open its season at household against Pymatuning Valley on March 27 at 5 p.m.

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