By Ashley Sedeyn
Hard work, drive, dedication, and stamina are four qualities of the 2010 Cumberland County College softball team.
Since last October, the girls worked hard to get to Massachusetts for a fall-ball tournament where they fared well against four-year colleges. Since then, they have moved their practices and fund raising into high gear.
This team is staffed with talented players who are backed by a knowledgeable coaching staff.
Upcoming freshman Desiree Rivera played for the West Cumberland Little League (WCLL). The WCLL made it to the finals in the 2008 Little League World Series.
Maria Goeller, a four time varsity letter winner from Buena, will be one of two pitchers. Other team members include shortstop Chelsie Whelch, Courtney Rafine (3rd base), Kelsey Rafine (outfield), Deanna Ayers, Angela Capobiacnhi, Nicole Vitola, and Breanna Brown.
The returning sophomores made a name for themselves last year, and they plan to prove themselves again this year. They are Cristina Allen who will man centerfield with her wicked crow-hops; Danielle Dellaquilla (right field); pitcher Emily Lee; Kayla Dodge (catcher and third base); and Ashley Sedeyn (first base).
Returning coach, Bud Blackburn, has increased the CCC win record every year. He is joined by Alan Holmann, Kristin Chiari, and Stephanie Sedeyn.
Coach Blackburn has coached at CCC for 37 years and specializes in hitting and catching. in 2007, he was named to the South Jersey Softball Hall of Fame.
Holmann has coached for the West Cumberland Little League, the Wildcats ASA Team and Cumberland Regional High School.
Chiari is currently a student at Drexel. She played for North Cumberland Little League and Cumberland Regional High School.
Sedeyn (Sacred Heart High School) attended Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania where she was the only freshman to start on the softball team. She graduated from Rowan University in 2009. Sedeyn is the only female inducted into the West Cumberland Little League Hall of Fame.
The team’s goal this season is to make it to the playoffs in Minnesota where they would compete against the best teams from each state.
“We are working on our hitting and throwing and making sure that we are accurate,” says Rafine.
Rivera feels the team should make it to nationals.
“We’ve put in a lot of hard work, dedication, and effort, and we work together as a team really well,” says Rivera.
The team has a strong bond both on and off the field.
“The thing I love most about this team is how close we are,” says Rivera. “Closeness is definitely a key factor when you want to win a championship as bad as we do.”
“We have fun together whether it’s during practice or going out to eat. I think we have a pretty good team this year. We all work together and help each other out.”
If the 2010 Dukes Softball Team continues to stick together, keeping their heads in the game and their goals in check, then it appears that there is nothing these ladies cannot accomplish.