Freshman Evelyn Marquis
Text and photos by Steev Riccardo
It was a jovial scene at Oxford High School field last Wednesday afternoon. The Pirates had just beaten the Millbury Woolies 3-0 and the players and their parents were celebrating a successful season and an impending return trip to the district playoffs.
While it’s business as usual for senior co-captain and all-star pitcher Nicole “The Franchise” Mangaudis, who struck-out 13 Woolies batters en route to a superb shutout win, a torch was also being passed to newly named Captain Sara Smith and freshman sensation Evelyn Marquis, who had two hits in the win over the Woolies.
2013 Pirate Captain Sara Smith
Smith, the team’s stalwart catcher, was an obvious choice to be captain, with her great leadership qualities, a mighty .400 batting average, and the team’s backbone behind the plate.
Marquis, only a freshman, has been incredible this year both in the field at shortstop and at the plate, batting over .400 all season long and ending the regular season hitting around .460 for the 12-8 Pirates.
With Smith and Marquis in the mix for next season, the Pirates and Coach Jamie Hetherman have plenty to look forward to, but first they have some unfinished business in the next couple of weeks.
“We are finally coming around, our defense is getting better, we cut down on errors, we are still one hit away from opening up games,” said Hetherman. “Obviously, it’s all about pitching and we have that, and if our bats come alive we will be OK.”
“I think if we have today’s attitude and motivation we will do well.” Said Mangaudis, “Sometimes we come into a game and we are not as excited or enthusiastic; without team work we will go nowhere. As long as we have the right attitude we will do well. I think we are excited to go farther than we did last year.”
The newly named captain for next season Smith added, “I am very excited for the Districts and proud our team has made it this far. We we don’t plan on giving up, and we hope to push through and go the championship.”
In regards to the future, Smith also said, “I feel very privileged being named captain for next year and I plan on leading the team very far.”
Hetherman, although thinking in the present, is also confident about the future, “Sara Smith, along with Evelyn (Marquis), is the backbone of the future here.”
Sometimes you hear the expression “big shoes to fill,” In this case there couldn’t be a truer statement. Marquis has to follow a pitcher who has been the face of the program for the last four years and has pitched in every single inning of every game.
“She shocked us this year, she was clutch at shortstop and she has done amazing, and I think with a year of watching what varsity is like, and if she works hard during the off season, she will do really well pitching,” said Mangaudis.
“We have already tagged her and now she has to live up to it, as “The Dynasty,” said Hetherman, who gave Mangaudis the moniker “The Franchise” a few years back.
“She will be the number one pitcher going into next year,” said Hetherman. “She works at it year around, she plays travel ball, she is a great kid, great teammate, as a freshman she showed great leadership.”
Evelyn Marquis and Nicole Mangaudis
Marquis is definitely a hard worker. She plays for the Charlton Wildfire and goes to the batting cages at Extra Innings in Auburn every weekend, “sometimes twice a week.” It has paid off, with her team leading average and batting numbers that rival anyone in the Southern Worcester County League.
She knows about those “big shoes” she has to fill, but you get the feeling there really is a new “Dynasty” in the works at Oxford High School and with “The Franchise” moving on, it’s just what the team needs.
- Wednesday, 30 May 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Sports