Salisbury Press

Friday, May 29, 2020
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZPitcher Emily Silberman is the only senior on this year’s Falcon varsity softball team. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZPitcher Emily Silberman is the only senior on this year’s Falcon varsity softball team.

Silbermans lead softball team

Thursday, March 12, 2020 by TODD KRESs tkress@tnonline.com in Sports

Salisbury softball head coach Jeff Appleman leads a team this spring that will be without four of its top hitters from a year ago. And the Falcons will suit up just one senior on the diamond in 2020.

But one main thing remains consistent from last year’s successful team that finished as District 11 Class 3A runner-up.

The Silberman sisters, pitcher Emily and catcher Marcie, return after posting stellar campaigns a year ago. And a third Silberman, freshman Haylee, is joining her sisters on this year’s team.

The two returning Silbermans will look to guide the Falcons back to a district playoff appearance after coming a win shy of earning a championship and advancing to states.

The team’s improbable run ended as the No. 6 seeded Falcons fell to top seed Pine Grove, 12-0, in the title game. But along the way, Salisbury upset No. 3 North Schuylkill in the quarterfinals and No. 2 Palmerton in the semifinals.

“Our pitcher Emily Silberman, our only senior, and her sister Marcie, our catcher, [is the strength of the team],” Appleman said, adding that Emily’s success on the mound could be the most important factor in the team reaching it’s goals this season.

Those goals include returning to postseason play, which includes qualify for the league tournament after missing out on that a season ago.

The Falcons finished 11-12 overall last season and 7-9 in Colonial League. They graduated First Team Colonial League all-star Peyton Stauffer. She finished with the Falcons’ highest batting average (.446), runs scored (32) and stolen bases (16). She was a scoring threat any time she reached base over her career with the Falcons.

Stauffer isn’t the only missing piece from last season’s puzzle that must be replaced.

Sara Lamana, an honorable mention all-league selection, has also graduated after batting .441 with 29 RBIs and two home runs. Gretchen Helsel (.355 average, 27 hits, 16 RBIs) and Hannah Lipkin (17 runs scored, four stolen bases) were also two main pieces to Appleman’s rotation last year that have since moved on. Helsel was also a Colonial League honorable mention selection.

“Our goals will be to improve and gain experience throughout the season,” Appleman said. “We want to make the Colonial League playoffs and advance in districts and states.”

Emily Silberman, a first-team all-star a season ago, looks to cement herself as one of the top pitchers in the Colonial League.

She earned 11 wins on the mound in 2019. She’s also one of the most feared hitters in the league after coming off a season where she hit .403 with five home runs and 33 RBIs.

Marcie Silberman is also a powerful bat that returns to the lineup. She hit .355 last spring with a team-high six home runs and 18 RBIs. Krystal Aungst (11 runs scored), Katherine Lovelidge (.250 average) and Kayla Trenge are key returners that Appleman will rely on to fill those voids.

Haylee Silberman is one of 10 underclassmen (five freshmen and five sophomores), and a number of them will fill out the varsity team. Sami Peffer, along with Silberman, figures to make an immediate impact in the upcoming weeks.

With a young group for the most part, Appleman understands there will be an adjustment period on the diamond.

“Softball knowledge [is an area that may need addressing],” Appleman said. “We have a lot of inexperience, so the learning curve will need to be advanced.”

Salisbury opens its Colonial League schedule at Pen Argyl on Monday, March 23, at 4 p.m.