“We set our goals at the beginning of the season every year and [Columbus] is always at the top of that list,” said Blessed Trinity coach Jan O’Donnell, who led Blessed Trinity to a 28-16 last fall and a trip to the Elite Eight in Columbus for the second time in four years. “Our [past] success definitely sets those expectations high, but we have a great combination of heart, hard work, and a lot of great players here this year.”
Returning from last year’s squad that finished fourth in the state — losing their only two games in Columbus to eventual state champion Buford — are five starters that include a pitcher and catcher combination that is one of the most experienced in the state.
Senior Mary Bryce Pring, a first team all-region selection in 2011, will man the Blessed Trinity pitching circle for a fourth straight year on O’Donnell’s team.
“She is a very knowledgeable pitcher that continues to improve each year and has a fight about her that refuses to lose. A strong pitcher and catcher combination is always a huge asset.”
Mary Kate Sullivan will be Pring’s battery mate behind the plate and three other starters will return to the field behind her — senior third baseman Ariella Rimoldi, speedy senior second baseman Jackie Kinney, and sophomore shortstop Katie Nichols.
“We return some other great players as well as a group of freshman that we are really excited about. Our other strengths will be team speed and defense, but we lost a lot of big bats so we will definitely be working on replacing them,” said the Blessed Trinity coach.
While working to fine tune their lineup, Blessed Trinity will also learn the ropes of a new region and new classification for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, making the jump up to 6AAA where they will compete in an 8-team region that features a number of new programs on the schedule.
“Nothing compares to having the five-time state champions (Buford) in your region as well as many other power house softball programs. But we are excited about our [new] region, and know it will be tough with great teams like St. Pius, Woodward Academy, and Decatur.”
Blessed Trinity will kick their season off tonight in the Cherokee Leadoff Classic, playing at Creekview High School.
Region play will begin Aug. 23 when they host Decatur.