Democrat Photo by Rob Potter
THE PRO PROSPECTS 23-and-Under softball team poses for a photo following a recent practice. Kneeling from left to right are Erin Shuart, Kim Donohue and Megan Stewart. Standing from left to right are Coach Pat Shuart, Ellie Dymond, Megan Drobysh, Coach Dennis Dietrich, Analey Dietrich and Shannon Dietrich. Missing from photo are team members Morgan Ehre, Kariann Holbrook, Kerri Liming, Kerry OConnor, Tricia Ritchie, Kelly Theis and Lisa Tufano.
By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY July 22, 2003 For one local softball team, the next few days should bring some very memorable experiences.
The Pro Prospects 23-and-Under team is heading to Amherst, located near Buffalo, for the 23-and-Under American Softball Association (ASA) Womens Fast Pitch National Championship. The event begins on Thursday and runs through Sunday.
The Pro Prospects squad features players from throughout the local area and is coached by Dennis Dietrich and Pat Shuart.
Dietrich noted that the 23-and- Under is a relatively new ASA division. Some 23-and-Under state and regional tournaments were held last year, but this weeks event is the first national competition for such teams.
He added that Pro Prospects is one of five teams from a non-metro area in New York State that will be playing in the tournament. Teams from state metro areas such as Albany, Buffalo, New York City and Syracuse will be in the competition as well.
Among the other teams in the tournament bracket is the host team, the Amherst Lightning, which recently won a junior Olympic event. There are also several squads from other states, including those representing Scranton, Pa. and Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
In addition to practicing for the past several weeks, Pro Prospects has competed in two tournaments. Earlier this month, the team earned the number two seed in an event in Canandaigua and posted a 2-2 record. On June 28 and 29, the team went 1-1 in a state tournament in Utica.
The squad was also scheduled to play two area ASA teams, the Diamond Dolls and the Rage, in preparation for Amherst.
While not quite sure how Pro Prospects will stack up against this weekends competition, Dietrich knows the players will give it their all.
We have a great core of players, he said. Its a hard-working core group. I think we have some good talent.
The Pro Prospects roster includes:
Analey Dietrich, Pitcher, Monticello Central School Class of 2001, Orange County Community College (OCCC)
Shannon Dietrich, Shortstop, Monticello Class of 2003, East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University
Kim Donohue, Catcher, Monticello Class of 2002, OCCC
Megan Drobysh, Outfield, Monticello Class of 2002, Philadelphia University
Ellie Dymond, Outfield, Tri-Valley Class of 2002, Sacred Heart University
Morgan Ehre, Outfield, Port Jervis Class of 2002, SUNY Oneonta
Kariann Holbrook, Outfield, Cornwall Class of 1999, Dominican College, Orangeburg
Kerri Liming, Catcher, Port Jervis Class of 2002, Salisbury University, Delaware
Kerry OConnor, Outfield, Cornwall Class of 1999, Dominican College, Orangeburg
Tricia Ritchie, Pitcher, Port Jervis Class of 2002, St. Rose University, Albany
Erin Shuart, First Base, Monticello Class of 2002, OCCC
Megan Stewart, Second Base, Port Jervis Class of 2003, Elmira College
Kelly Theis, Outfield, Sullivan West/Jeffersonville-Youngsville Class of 2000, OCCC
Lisa Tufano, Third Base, Port Jervis Class of 2002, OCCC. (She will attend Hudson Community College this fall.)
I think that well be facing some high-caliber softball teams up there, Shannon Dietrich said at a recent team practice. I feel that were going to be competitive. A lot of us have been playing together for a long time. We all know each others talents and they blend in together.
Dietrich, who will play for Division II East Stroudsburg next spring, added that the tournament should be a good experience and one that prepares her for college softball.
Drobysh is also looking forward to the event.
I think its going to be a great experience, she said. Hopefully, well do well in the tournament.