Townies excitedly return to the softball diamond

New coach Kenahan finally gets chance to lead EPHS program

By Mike Rego
Posted 5/10/21

EAST PROVIDENCE — After having its season, like all others in the spring, canceled a year ago due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the East Providence High School softball team returns to …

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Townies excitedly return to the softball diamond

New coach Kenahan finally gets chance to lead EPHS program

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — After having its season, like all others in the spring, canceled a year ago due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the East Providence High School softball team returns to the diamond in 2021 relying on a core cast of experienced players mixed in with some talented newcomers all under the direction of still first-year head coach Katie Kenahan.

Kenahan was hired prior to the supposed start of the 2020 season to succeed long-time Townies’ head coach Rob Traverse, who retired after the 2019 campaign, but the former West Warwick High standout and Riverside Middle School coach didn’t get the chance to take over the program because of the coronavirus. With the pandemic, locally at least, better managed a year later, the EPHS coach and players are thrilled to return to action.

“So excited to be back,” said Kenahan, whose 2021 roster is led by 2019 team members senior catcher/infielder Hailey Martins, senior second basemen/outfielder Alexis Munro, junior shortstop Vianna Chamberland and junior pitcher/infielder/outfielder Sophia Patterson.

Patterson, who served as the Townies’ junior varsity pitcher two years ago as a freshman, will be joined in the circle this spring by sophomores Keira Quadros and Emma Bergeron. When not throwing, all three will play in the field, Bergeron at first base and Quadros in the outfield.

The other 2019 roster players in the fold are junior third basemen/outfielder Desiree Fernandes, junior first basemen Bree Riel, junior utility infielder/hitter Daisy Francis, senior outfielder Darien Kane and junior pinch runner/outfielder Hailey Kaiser.

“Coming off a canceled season last year, and with some younger players with minimal varsity experience, we will need to continue to be hungry, aggressive on the bases and at the plate and solid defensively,” Kenahan continued.

The rest of the players on the varsity roster expected to contribute are sophomore catcher/third baseman Ava Mendence, junior newcomer and middle infielder/outfielder Jenett Sosa, senior infielder/outfielder Christa Lachance, junior catcher/utility player Abby Hollinsworth, sophomore newcomer pinch runner/utility player Josley Sosa and junior pinch runner/infielder Brookelyn Feola.

Kenahan said East Providence’s early starting lineup and batting order could go as follows: Jenett Sosa (2B), Josley Sosa (DH), Chamberlain (SS), Martins (C), Mendence (3B/LF), Patterson (LF/3B), Bergeron (1B), Fernandes (RF) and Munro (CF) with Quadros getting the initial start in the circle.

“We are going to need to rely on some of the younger kids to win games, but they are a group I feel will be able to rise to the challenge,” Kenahan added.

The Townies, as always, will compete in the Division I ranks with 10 other teams. Also, like has been done by the Interscholastic League to accommodate sports throughout the 2020-21 term, teams will play a slightly reduced regular season schedule of 13 games. The Townies have been placed in a four-team “pod” along with Cranston West, LaSalle and Moses Brown, playing those teams twice and the other seven once. EPHS will also play three non-league games for a total of 16.

As for the postseason, all 11 teams in D-I will qualify for the playoffs. The state tournament runs as a series of single-elimination games to the final four (semifinals), then becoming double elimination to determine the champion.

“We’re looking to make a deep postseason run,” said Kenahan. “I’m cautiously optimistic that we are going to surprise a lot of people this year with the tenacity and passion this group of girls brings to the playing field. If we play well, keep our mental game in check and stay positive, I think we can beat just about anybody and if we don’t the opposite is also the case, given the tough competitors in our division.”

Of note as well, having had their field on campus removed to make way for construction of the new EPHS building, the Townies will play their home games this spring at the recently rechristened Francis Finn/Robert O. Clark Field at the Harry C. Mutter, Jr. Athletic Complex on Pawtucket Avenue.

E.P.’s first game there scheduled against Chariho Monday, May 10, was postponed. The Townies anticipate opening their 2021 season Tuesday, May 11, on the road against Cranston West at the Brayton Athletic Complex. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.

EPHS is then back in action Thursday, May 13, at the Mutter Complex to host Pilgrim at 4:45 p.m. The Townies also travel to Pawtucket Saturday, May 15, to play St. Raphael Academy at Hank Soar Complex. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.