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Mangino Replaces Batton in Eagles Dugout

Chapman Is One Of Valley’s, W.Va.’s Best

March 21, 2014
By JOSH STROPE , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

NEW MARTINSVILLE - Dillon Mangino is venturing into his first head coaching position as he takes over the Magnolia softball team and he already has the expectations set pretty high.

"We have one goal and that is to win a state title," he said.

Pretty lofty goal for a first year?

"Not at all," he said. "Any team you are on, that should be your goal. You want the biggest award you can get."

Luckily for him, he just might have the team to do it.

For the Blue Eagles, it all starts with one of the best pitchers and hitters in the state in Mallory Chapman.

Chapman has been a standout for her entire career and Mangino looks for her swan song to be quite the show.

"She can play at the next level, that's for sure," Mangino said. "She brings a lot athletically and is very talented. She can do a lot of damage at the plate. In the circle, we know we are going to be in every game."

Catching Chapman will be junior Audrey Gibb.

"She is a wall back there," Mangino said.

Junior Katie Blatt mans first base and Abbey Durig will play shortstop where she can "make plays that will wow you," according to Mangino.

Second base has been one of the better battles of the spring with senior Casey Hilpert trying to hold off the charge of sophomore Davianne Croasmun.

If Croasmun doesn't win the second base job, she might have a spot at third, competing with senior Jordan Grimm and freshman Kelsi Chapman, Mallory's sister the No. 2 pitcher.

The outfield consists of all seniors in Stephanie Mullett (center), Erin Clegg (right), and Ashley Moore (left).

When Mangino decides to go to his bench, there will be no shortage to chose from. Magnolia features 21 players, meaning 12 girls will be waiting for her turn.

Among those are Emily Clegg, Erin's twin sister, as well as another sister, freshman Cammy.

Sophomores Brittany Nice, Stephanie Wade and Cierra Truex will look to see some playing time, as well as a talented group of freshmen that includes Taylor Seckman, Chelsey White, Hannah Fluharty, Taylor Cline and Emily Shank.

"We have a lot of good athletes that we can put anywhere and get good production," Mangino said. "(Former) Coach (Mark) Batton did a great job with these girls. You can tell they were well-coached.

"The OVAC and the state lost a great coach. I stop by Coach Batton's office a lot and gives me tips and tells me what I should expect. From what I see, we have to work hard but we are going to have a tough team to beat."

Mangino previously served as an assistant coach with Wheeling Post 1.

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