SOFTBALL: Team-by-team previews
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■ Coach: Mike McFarlen, third year.
■ Last year’s record: 21-4; Olympic League champs, state participant.
■ This season so far: 5-0 league, 7-1 overall.
■ Returning starters: Alexas Besand, sr.; Makayla Bentz, sr.; Mary Lu Clift, jr.; Olivia Kirsch; Shelby Lott.
■ Top newcomers: McKenzie Bentz, so.; Alysen Montileus; Jordan Bentz.
■ Player to watch: Alexas Besand and Makayla Bentz. The power-hitting first baseman, Besand, and the pitching ace, Bentz, look to finish their high school careers with yet another state tournament appearance. Bentz already has one no-hitter this season.
■ Outlook: The Wolves saw important players graduate, but as has been the case the past three years, they have plugged new weapons into the vacated positions.
Sequim is again playing like the Olympic League favorite, and a state berth wouldn’t surprise anyone.
Port Angeles Roughriders
■ Coach: Randy Steinman, second year.
■ Last year’s record: 20-6; state participant.
■ This season so far: 4-0 Olympic League, 4-2 overall.
■ Returning starters: Ashlee Reid, sr.; Sarah Steinman, sr.; Haley Gray, sr.; Tori Kuch, sr.; Cara Cristion, sr.; Carly Gouge, jr.
■ Top newcomers: Alicia Howell.
■ Player to watch: Ashlee Reid and Sarah Steinman. Both were All-Peninsula honorees last season who helped lead the Roughriders to state.
■ Outlook: Despite losing a handful of starters from last year, via graduation or otherwise, but still return a core group of returning contributors.
“Rest of the team is young and new to the varsity, only time will tell if that is a weakness or strength,” Randy Steinman said.
“We need to hit the ball better this season and execute the little things that win ball games.”
Port Angeles remains a top contender on the Olympic League with the potential of making it back to state.
■ Coach: Mark Thompson, second year.
■ Last year’s record: 17-6; fourth at 1B state tournament.
■ This season so far: 5-1
■ Returning starters: Sammy Rae, jr.; Celsea Hughes, sr.; Emily Ward, so.; Megan Weller, so.; Katie Bailey, fr.; Allison Jones, fr.; Alex Johnson, so.; Jerrica Viloria, so.; Sara Gaby, sr.
■ Top newcomers: Jordan Cawyer, so.
■ Player to watch: Sammy Rae and Megan Weller. Combine to form one of the best all-around batteries on the North Olympic Peninsula.
■ Outlook: With everyone returning from last year’s fourth-place state team, the expectations are high for the Rangers.
The team returns solid pitching, hitting and fielding, so the focus will be “to take the season one day at a time,” Thompson said.
“Every practice and every game is an opportunity to get better.”
■ Coach: Chelsey Davis, second year.
■ Last year’s record: 3-9 Evergreen 1A League; 10-10 overall.
■ This season so far: 2-2, 3-3 overall.
■ Returning starters: Courtnie Paul, sr.; Tabetha Brock, sr.; Emily Klahn, sr.; Alex Henderson, jr.; Halle Palmer, so.
■ Top newcomers: Sarah Adams, so.
■ Player to watch: Courtnie Paul. The left-handed catcher is one of a handful of seniors that will be counted on for leadership.
■ Outlook: “We have a smaller player turnout than last year, but this has already turned to a strength in an exceptionally strong bond as a team,” Davis said.
“This has been accomplished through our strong and vocal senior leadership, led by Tabetha Brock, our senior left fielder.
“Our key to success will be to rely on our strong senior leadership to help our younger and newer athletes to develop a confident and reliable varsity-level game mentality.”
Port Townsend Redskins
■ Coach: Kelli Parcher, first year.
■ Last year’s record: 1-16
■ This season so far: 1-3
■ Returning starters: Rilke Rutenbeck, sr.; Gen Polizzi, sr.; Megan Lee, jr.; Rose Gitelman, sr.
■ Player to watch: Gen Polizzi and Megan Lee have had solid seasons the previous years for the inexperience Redskins.
■ Outlook: Still short on experience, Port Townsend will aim to finish seventh in the Olympic League to earn a shot at the Nisqually League postseason.
Last modified: April 10. 2014 6:07PM