EHS FASTPITCH: Enumclaw looking to find ace up its sleeve

When senior mound ace Austin Rogers graduated from Enumclaw High in June, Hornet girls fastpitch coach Michael Eckhart knew he has going to be putting in overtime in his search to replace her.

The multi-faceted Rogers carried the young, error-prone EHS squad all the way to the 2010 state tournament in Tacoma with her effective pitching, productive hitting and exemplary defense.

“Pitching may not be everything, but it is just about 90 percent of the sport of fastpitch, and we are going to be the only team in the South Puget Sound League 3A this season that doesn’t have its ace pitcher returning,” Eckhart said.

Vying for the windmilling duties have been junior lefty Kenicia McClellan and sophomore righties Madeline Petellin and Josie Wicks.

The most welcomed news for EHS’ battery though, is that Courtney Cox is reappearing behind the dish as a polished junior.

Returning to the outfield will be Katina Ferguson and veteran Kayla Kranz, one of the more fundamentally consistent players on the team, according to Eckhart. The other tandem of upperclassmen in this foursome will be Devon Volk, the leadoff hitter from last season, and slick fielding second baseman Anna Litvinenko.

“The plan, as always, is to finish No. 1 and head into the playoffs,” Eckhart said. “But if we expect to do that in what I feel is going to be a very tough league this year, we are going to have to shore things up on defense.”

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