Catasauqua Press

Saturday, July 22, 2017
Dani Pluchinsky and the Roughs have had a tough season so far. Dani Pluchinsky and the Roughs have had a tough season so far.

Pluchinsky, Roughs remained determined despite tough year

Thursday, April 27, 2017 by jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

Dani Pluchinsky knew the softball program likely would take a different direction this season, but she didn’t expect the current stage to surface.

The Roughies began the season with all-state performer Hannah Edwards and other former seasoned seniors that produced a 19-win last year, and kept them among the elite in softball circles.

Still, Alexia Reichl and fellow senior Shannon Gallagher returned to anchor the pitching staff and provide some big bats in the lineup. That was until the duo went down with season-ending pitching injuries in the opening weeks.

Now Pluchinsky is the lone senior on the team that features two untested, underclassmen hurlers. The results so far haven’t been totally shocking as the Roughies dropped 10 of their first 11 games (1-10).

Still, Pluchinsky remains determined.

“It has been a bit of a downturn for us,” said Pluchinsky. “It definitely has been interesting to see where we are now. We have been trying to get back to basics.

“Losing Alexia (Reichl) and Shannon (Gallagher) was huge for us. The two young pitchers have been working very hard and they have been doing a good job for us.”

Being a senior and primarily involved in the program’s success over the years, Pluchinsky has dealt with the down slide this season.

“It definitely gets frustrating at times,” she said. “I’m able to have fun out there regardless if we win. Winning isn’t everything for me. I just love the game. Our program has been so good for so long.

“We have been on top for a while, and we knew this could happen. We don’t have another Hannah Edwards in the program.”

Pluchinsky does see an upward swing in the team’s play since they dropped a hard-fought, 2-1 decision to Southern Lehigh April 11. From there, the Roughies lost a 5-2 decision to Palmerton,; thumped Moravian Academy, 17-1, for their lone win, and suffered a 4-0 loss to Northern Lehigh.

“I thought the Southern Lehigh game might have been a turning point for us,” she said. “We played a really good game and we played well in our next few games. We have been very competitive lately.

“I believe our younger players are getting better and we can do some things in the next few weeks.”

Pluchinsky is excited about the prospects of attending Ithaca College next fall, where she will major in sports media. Her professional goal is to work in sports public relations or marketing.

She enhanced her passion for sports when she joined the school newspaper as a sophomore.

“I absolutely love sports,” she said. “I have really enjoyed writing for the newspaper and that got me interested in a sports career. I know journalism is a tough market, but there are other options.

“I’m also looking forward to being at Ithaca. It will be a good fit for me. But I do want to finish strong at Catty.”

With a sense of unbound resiliency, Pluchinsky likely will achieve her goals.