Softball 2006: The Panthers dynamic duo

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cristin Crocker and Trish Zettler

were standout leaders for the Pelham Panthers last season &8212;

as freshmen.

As the dynamic duo enters their sophomore year, they&8217;re looking to build on already storied careers.

&8220;They are both extremely good athletes and great kids as well,&8221; Pelham head coach Amy Sullivan said. &8220;They&8217;re going to be a huge part of our team again this year.&8221;

In the 2005 season, Zettler finished with a 1.00 ERA from the mound, 223 strikeouts and 20 wins.

Crocker finished with a .476 batting average and 20 steals.

The two girls have played with one another since they were 6 years old, crediting their friendship and dedication to hard work for their joint success.

&8220;We have a pretty good understanding of each other,&8221; Crocker said. &8220;We&8217;ve been playing with each other for so long.&8221;

Sullivan said both players have excelled at a number of different positions on the field.

&8220;I had to move Cristin to catcher last year because she was the only one who could catch Trish,&8221; she said.

&8220;They both do everything you ask them to do.&8221;

The Panthers&8217; coach is not the only one noticing the duo&8217;s success.

&8220;They&8217;re at the top of a number of Division I recruiting lists,&8221; Sullivan said. &8220;They put in the extra time and have a lot of volunteer workouts in the summer.&8221;

Both girls have high hopes for their team this season, with Zettler&8217;s first few matches looking to be very big for her. The Panthers&8217; top pitcher is only 13 strikeouts away from reaching the 500 mark.

&8220;I would be really excited to do that,&8221; she said.

The count sits at 487, with no sophomore ever having reached that mark.

Both girls say, however, that they&8217;re far from satisfied with their performances.

&8220;I need to get better at shortstop and get better at batting,&8221; Crocker said.

Zettler said she wants to focus on both her offensive and defensive skills.

&8220;I want to be better at both batting and catching,&8221; she said.

Sullivan said that kind of drive is what makes these two athletes so special.

&8220;They&8217;re both humble, down-to-earth girls,&8221; she said. &8220;We&8217;re looking forward to a great year with the help of these two. I could say more about them than any other player in the state.&8221;

The Panthers open their regular season against Vincent tomorrow at home