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Softball: Defending champs know they won't take anyone by surprise

Bethlehem says it has the offense and pitching to contend again

Bethlehem’s Meagan Sullivan throws during a preseason practice last Wednesday. Sullivan is one of six returning starters from last year’s Class AA championship team.

Bethlehem’s Meagan Sullivan throws during a preseason practice last Wednesday. Sullivan is one of six returning starters from last year’s Class AA championship team. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— “Our offense is going to be amazing this year,” said Gentile.

Having a strong offense gives Sullivan some peace of mind as she gets ready for the 2012 season.

“It makes it a lot easier because you know you have a little leeway,” said Sullivan. “You don’t want to give up a ton of runs, obviously, but it’s nice to know that if I do give up a couple of runs, my teammates can score some insurance runs for us.”

The Suburban Council schedule will provide Bethlehem plenty of tests this season. Shen, Shaker and Colonie all return several key players from last year, and there are up-and-coming programs within the Lady Eagles’ division at Guilderland and Mohonasen.

“It’s hard to say how the other teams are going to be, but I can say that we will be competing for the South Division title this year,” said Gentile.

Bethlehem begins its season Monday, April 2, against Averill Park in a Suburban Council South Division game.

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