Bombers are young and hungry

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Kenston won just two games last spring and lost three multi-year starters to graduation, but the young Bombers are hungry to improve.

Head coach Annie Dubovec returns six starters and, despite their relative youth, expects her Bombers to be competitive this spring.

“Our expectations are to be competitive in every game and continue to improve each and every day,” Dubovec said. “Losing three key players from last year has caused our team to reevaluate what we have going forward. This year, we’ve got more experience overall with seven returners, and with a year under their belts, we can add new things to our game. We will look to put lots of pressure on our opponents’ defense with lots of speed. Look for Kenston to push the tempo when possible and use this new speed to our advantage.”

The Bombers will be strong up the middle with the return of junior shortstop Brooklyn Mack and senior center fielder Allie Valocchi.

Mack proved to be one of the top middle infielders in the Western Reserve Conference last spring. She batted .354 with a .436 on-base percentage in earning all-conference honorable mention honors.

“We expect her to be a key cog in our lineup and believe she still has more room to grow,” Dubovec said. “She’s really focused on fine-tuning her defense and improving in that area of the game as well. I think she’s capable of big things this season.”

Valocchi also earned honorable mention All-WRC honors after clubbing a team-high 17 runs batted in.

“Allie Valocchi is our only senior and we will certainly count on her for leadership,” Dubovec said. “She has power-hitting capabilities and will lead our outfield defense. She has the most experience of any player in our program.”

Sophomore catcher Madison Journey, sophomore first baseman Emma Magyarics, junior second baseman Santina Scafidi and junior third baseman Mackenzie Lamont round out the Kenston infield. Juniors Angela Judge and Rachel Judge will play left and right field, respectively.

Juniors Alexis Robertson and Maya Weber and Magyarics will handle the duties in the circle for the Bombers this spring.

“Our pitchers need to control the strike zone and we need to be solid defensively,” Dubovec said. “We can’t have mental lapses in any portion of the game.”

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The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.