Softball: Foran Lions to fill in blank slate

Foran High will be looking to fill in the blanks when coach Julie Johnson’s Lions open their season with a visit to Harding High in Bridgeport on Monday. 

“We’re not going to look behind, but look ahead,” said Johnson, in her first year at the helm after Foran went 3-17 a year ago. “I have a good mix of players familiar with my coaching (volleyball) and things we are pointing to may not be softball specific. 

“We’re going to work hard, come together as a team and will gauge our results by that. We have a great opportunity to invigorate playing softball at Foran.” 

Toward that end, Johnson will be assisted by Duffy Lynch and Gina Georgetti. 

“Duffy is all about a player’s mindset,” Johnson said. “Gina is a recent All-Stater at Foran, who starred at Eastern (Connecticut State University). She was on staff last year, knows the girls, and brings enthusiasm every day.” 

Makenna Prete, Kailey Loewenberg and Hailey LaForte are team captains. 

“Makenna will be a four-year starter,” Johnson said of her pitcher, who can also play second base. “She is one of our leaders. 

“Kailey swings the bat well and will return to play at second. 

"Hailey is our shortstop. Another returning starter, she is an aggressive lefty swinger and our vocal leader.” 

Foran has 29 rostered players, including 11 freshmen. 

“We have a core group of veterans, and five or six freshmen could play,” Johnson said. “Milford Softball (Little League) has four Major teams that have been very successful. That’s exciting for us and our future.” 

Foran boasts depth in the pitching circle with junior Jess Sanders, freshman Morgan Viesselman and junior Mary Grace Weissauer joining Prete. 

“Jess can play the infield as well. Mary Grace is moving from left field to center (replacing All-Stater Kalie Mendola). She is quick and plays great defense,” Johnson said. 

Alexa Mendillo returns to start at third base. “Alexa is starting her third year and has a wicked arm,” Johnson said. 

Marguerite Collette, a junior, and freshman Kendall LaMorte will handle the catching duties. 

“Marguerite is dedicated to softball and plays year-round to improve her skills,” Johnson said. “She has experience. Kendall and Marguerite are competing to catch or play first base. 

“Sanders, Leigha Howland, Mia Tunucci, Corina Massey, Carly Whelan, Diana Dempsey and Jess Gluhanich can all play corner outfield. 

“We are putting pieces in place. We have a great group of players and they are excited for the season to begin.”