Mann takes over as coach
Sunday, Kevin Mann was "excited and anxious."
Monday, Kevin Mann was still "excited and anxious" after Northampton's softball team opened their season with an 11-1 romp over Saucon Valley.
Mann is beginning this season as the Konkrete Kids' head coach after spending the last 13 years as their junior varsity coach.
The 54-year-old softball veteran was named coach after Sally Whittaker-Kahan resigned for health reasons. Mann takes over a team that won the District 11 championship last season.
Mann has only four seniors on this year's squad - shortstop Bri Dalton, third baseman Leandra Sterner, center fielder Taylor Kerbacher and catcher Hannah Peters - but also has plenty of talented younger classmen who saw action last year.
"They're very talented," says Mann. "I'm confident we can win and expect our defense to be the key. If we can keep our opponents from scoring, we should be good. I expect good things."
"Our pitchers are young with (junior) Sam Frey and (freshman) Jillian Muthard and Taylor Keeney and we can also use Dalton, who is an all-around player.
Mann says the whole roster is full of all-around girls, like Amber Saylor (second base-outfielder), Kendel Reed (catcher-outfielder), Alexandra Reppert (infielder-outfielder), Rachel Heimbach (third base-designated hitter), Kasey Frey (infield-outfield), Auria Enright (infield-outfield-designated hitter), and Emily Schwartz (infield-outfield).
"We should be able to manufacture runs with our speed," Mann added. "Our league (Lehigh Valley Conference) and division (LVC North) has a lot of good teams with depth and experience."
Mann has able assistants in Stef Fink and Jeff Bernhard along with Chelsea Lubenesky, Julie Maurek, and Andrew Snyder.
The Kids were scheduled to visit Pleasant Valley Wednesday in another nonleague game before opening LVC play today at Whitehall. The game with the Bears is now Friday at home.
In Monday's home game freshman Muthard gave up a first-inning run but limited Saucon Valley to two hits with eight strikeouts in a five-inning game halted by the 10-run rule.
Dalton had two hits and two RBIs for Northampton while Enright had a two-run triple as the Kids got the season off to a good start.