“Defensively, we’ve been very strong all the way around,” Bliss said. “We’ve had very few errors. Everybody is fielding well.”
Sophomore Carson Haney replaces Lexi Duda at third base and sophomore Alexie Tsouvas has taken over at catcher.
“Alexie has done an outstanding job for us,” Bliss said. “We knew she would do well behind the plate, but she has been hitting very well too. Carson Haney, another sophomore, has been playing very well for us too.”
In the outfield sophomore Mallory Arthurs has taken over in left field for Noelle Palmatier. Senior Catherine Borgstrom, who often played designated hitter last season, has taken over center field for Haggerty, and is also batting clean-up behind Hall. In right field, Ellen Vibbard has returned from a torn ACL suffered during soccer season.
With two freshman playing key roles and four sophomores starting, Cooperstown has a young core. As the season goes on, and opposition pitching gets better, scoring runs will be one of the biggest challenges, but Bliss said that so far the offense has been good. Hall is slugging in the .800s, she and Christina Noto are leading the team in batting average and Tousvas, Borgstrom and Flynn are doing well getting on base and scoring runs.
The switch from Division III to Division II takes Cooperstown away from Class D powerhouse Hamilton, but brings multiple rivals in Little Falls and Herkimer.
"I think this division is tougher," Bliss said. "You've got Little Falls and Herkimer and even West Canada Valley is very good."
The top teams in the division will move on to compete with Weedsport and defending champ Sandy Creek for the section title.
"I think those are the teams you're looking at," Bliss said. "Sandy Creek, Weedsport, Herkimer. If we keep improving, and we have been improving every game, then that's who we'll have to play."