PRINCETON: Freshman Venizelos helps Hun reach final


Freshman Gigi Venizelos has stepped in as the starting shortstop for the Hun School softball team and helped the Raiders win a Mid Atlantic Prep League title and reach the state Prep A final.

By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
Before the season began, Gigi Venizelos wasn’t sure what sort of impact she would have on the Hun School softball team., But as the Raiders made their way through a season that included a Mid Atlantic Prep League championship and a trip to the state Prep A finals, the freshman has played a huge role in the team’s success., “The team is a very inviting group of girls, so it wasn’t very difficult to fit in,” said Venizelos, who converted from third base to shortstop to give the Raiders stability at a key position in the infield. “And the captains were very supportive of the freshmen so it was easy to fit in. We had winter training and went to Florida before the season so I got to know the rest of the team well., “In the beginning it was a lot of pressure, but I settled down. I came over from playing third base in travel so I had to learn a new position. But I am learning that I really like shortstop. I am really liking it.”, Hun captured a MAPL title and advanced to the Prep A final with a 5-2 win over Peddie on Tuesday. With the win, the Raiders were scheduled to face Blair for the state title. The meeting was going to be the third this season between the two teams, Blair winning the first meeting and Hun taking the second meeting., In the win over Peddie in the semifinals, Alana Pearson tossed a two-hitter and struck out 14 to earn the win on the mound. Pearson also had a big role in the offense as she finished with three hits and drove in a pair of runs. Venizelos had a hit and drove in a pair of runs, while Julie Fassl had two hits., “I have been ecstatic with how we have been playing this season,” said Venizelos, a Hopewell resident who plays for the Jersey Outlaws travel team. “In the beginning of the year our coach had us write our personal and team goals and everyone’s team goal was to win MAPL’s and states.”, The Raiders have gotten a big boost from their freshman shortstop, who has settled ito her new position and helped give the defense stability behind Pearson on the mound., “She was going to be a third baseman for us,” Hun coach Kathy Quirk said of Venizelos. “We tried people in Florida at shortstop and it just didn’t work out. I moved her to short and it has been a godsend. She is one heck of a third baseman. She is not afraid to play anywhere. She does a nice job for us with the bat also.”, Hun has won 13 of 14 games after opening the season with a loss at Blair. The Raiders were riding a nice streak as they prepared for the Prep A final., “Alana has been doing a nice job on the mound,” Quirk said. “We have been playing good ball. They are a nice bunch of girls. We’re losing two seniors that I am going to miss. They are young and doing a nice job. They have really come together as a team.”