Stauffer, others ready to lead program
With Salisbury losing seniors Anna Bishop and Lilia Crouthamel, the Falcons softball team must figure out who is next in line to take over as a leader on the team for next season. The cupboard won’t be bare for Salisbury, which has leaned heavily on pitcher Emily Silberman, who returns next season. There are other players who could step up and perhaps someone not even in this year’s lineup will be the one that takes over as the face of the team.
One player who has positioned herself to become a leader on the Salisbury softball in 2019 is Peyton Stauffer. The junior outfielder was chosen as a Colonial League second-team all-star for her performance with the Lady Falcons.
Stauffer occupies the leadoff spot in the team’s batting order and takes the role seriously, looking to be somewhat of a spark plug for her team’s offense.
“I’m just looking to get on and start the game off and hope that carries on throughout the rest of the batting order,” said Stauffer of her approach at the plate.
For coach Jeff Appleman, Stauffer has quickly moved herself into a position where she’s bound to get more and more recognition. With Crouthamel and Bishop graduating, Stauffer is in a position to stand out for her team simply by continuing to do what she’s done all through her softball career: play hard and get on base.
Her development may not have garnered a lot of attention outside of Salisbury and the Colonial League, but to her coach, she’s on a path that he believes is going to lead her to push for a spot on next year’s first-team all-star squad.
“Early in the year, I was saying that Anna Bishop was the best kept secret in this league, but now that everybody knows about her, I think it’s Peyton,” said Appleman of his right fielder.
In the postseason, Stauffer’s top-of-the-order skills became especially important. In the district quarterfinals, Stauffer had what for her is a typical game. She reached base four times, with three singles and a hit-by-pitch. She scored three of those times in a 15-5 win over Palmerton. She spreads the ball around the field, with two of her hits coming to left field in that game and the other going to right-center field.
“It seems like she’s on every time,” said Appleman. “She’s great and she’s had a great year. She’s been red hot lately and I’m very happy for her.”
Following in the footsteps of Crouthamel and Bishop, who each collected over 100 hits in their high school careers is no small feat to accomplish. Stauffer is her own type of player and looks to set things up for the hitters lower in the order.
“We have a lot of good hitters, so if I can just get on base they have a good chance of driving me in,” said Stauffer. “We’re the type of team that just looks to take advantage of situations and do what we have to do to be successful.”
With every team having a jumbled lineup card heading into the offseason, Salisbury at least has some key answers already filled in. The Falcons have a strong battery in catcher Sara Lamana and pitcher Emily Silberman and good bats in Gretchen Helsel and Hannah Lipkin. They’ve also got perhaps one of the top leadoff hitters in Stauffer. That’s not a bat place to start as the Salisbury softball program continues to build on its success.