Although there will be some holes to fill in the lineup of the Enumclaw High girls fastpitch squad that took fifth in the state last season with a 18-7 record overall, the sluggers should be back to terrorize the South Puget Sound League 3A.
A prime reason for the optimism is the Hornets will still have windmiller Austin Rogers slinging the softball for them as a senior.
Even with catcher Ashley Dell’Osa now at Pacific Lutheran University, Jill Stewart heading off to Whitman College and speedy base-stealing outfielder Taylor Franich shuffling off to Buffalo University, coach Michael Eckhart believes his biggest challenge will be finding enough spots to plug in the abundance of talent he had turn out this spring.
Seniors Kaycie Morrison, Mimi Cooper and Sharidan Snider all come back and upperclassman Jen VanKooten made the squad as a senior newcomer. Juniors Kayla Kranz and Katina Ferguson will be back, with Kranz displaying the same middle infield glove work shown at the end of last season.
When sizing up the hitting, Eckhart said he has been impressed by juniors Ferguson and Anna Litvinenko as well as sophomore Kenicia McClellan.
“We even have a movie star to replace Dell’Osa at catcher in Courtney Cox,” Eckhart said, “only this Courtney Cox is only a sophomore, but she is a great left-handed hitter.”
Being groomed to spell shining star Rogers, who was second in the SPSL 3A in strikeouts, will be a trio of freshman in Molly LaMotte, Jessica Wicks and Madeline Petallin.
Enumclaw, 14-2 in league action last season, will be tested as it will visit Bonney Lake March 18.