1999 Softball Season Recap
While their 13-8 final record may be impressive, the 1999 season will go into the books as a disappointing one for WNTN, coming off back to back trips to the championship round of the Needham Community Softball League playoffs.
The loss of five impact players (Pete Smith, Greg Kassabian, Keith Garland, Ron Burnett & Ron Hobby) was too much for the club to overcome. While they tried to replace them with Pete Bosader, Chuck Texiera & Brian Pacheco, participation, chemistry and lackluster contrbutions from some veterans sent this team to an early vacation.
Sometimes statistics can prove valuable when analyzing what goes wrong. WNTN finished fifth overall in the 13 team league but posted only two wins all season against squads above them. And one was a first round playoff victory over Roche Bros. Normally a spectacular hitting team, the overall average was an alltime low of .430. Starters Ted Argentieri (.324) and Mike McLean (.290) suffered off-seasons at the plate. Jeff Miller hit .167. Veteran Rob Rudnick had his first sub-500 season at age 43, going 15 for 38 (.394).
Three reliable regulars (Darren Roy .620, Mike Hluska .612 and Dave Higgins .550) supplied most of the offensive spark. Higgins was slowed by a late season groin injury. George Langdon (.462), Mike Donley (404), Bosader (.437), Texiera (.421) and Pacheco (.418) had spurts of success at the plate, but slumped at the end.
Defensively, shortstop Mike Hluska is still one of the league's best, but the loss of two other great fielders (LF Pete Smith & 2B Greg Kassabian) hurt. Rick Barsam filled in admirably at C, Mike Donley was solid at 2B and Dave Higgins, Darren Roy and Brian Pacheco roamed the outfield well.
If the 2000 version of the WNTN softball team is going to get back to championship caliber, a lot will need to be addressed in the off season. Age, speed and conditioning are a few of those things.