Cruickshank leads Comets

J. Patrick Eaken

In his third season at the helm of Genoa softball, Michael Burriola has two letter winners from the 2019 season. 

However, Burriola has plenty of talent returning. He says they just need varsity playing experience. The majority of his players from Genoa’s 18-8 team two years ago were juniors and seniors.

“We are very inexperienced,” Burriola said. “Last year because of COVID we were unable to develop kids and we are learning on the fly this year.”

One thing that is for sure, Genoa has “excellent speed” and “good pitching,” says Burriola.

Returning is senior center fielder Caitlin Cruickshank, who was first team All-NBC, batted .414 and led the team in doubles (11) and triples (4). She was 43-for-96 with 35 runs, two home runs, 21 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. She is expected to lead the team at the plate again.

Pitcher Kaylin Shields joins the team, and Burriola says she is “well beyond experienced for a freshman.” Burriola says Cruickshank and Shields are his top fielders as well.

Also joining the mix is Lacy Frias, who Burriola says “has played a couple games on varsity as a freshman and excelled.” In six plate appearances two years ago, Frias had four hits and two RBIs. 

Keana Snyder, who Burriola says is a “pure athlete” also joins the team along with freshman Lily Frias, a track star who the coach says has “raw talent with gifted skills.”

In the Northern Buckeye Confer-ence, Burriola says he expects Genoa to finish anywhere from third to sixth.

“We could be very good or very average with an inexperienced squad. We are very tough top to bottom, but can never have a game off,” Burriola said. (— by Press Sports Editor J. Patrick Eaken)

Burriola came to Genoa from Start, where he coached two years and had an accumulated 25-18 record, including named Toledo City League Coach of the Year in 2017.




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