WRHS FASTPITCH: Improvement on WRHS list

White River’s fastpitch squad is out to prove it should not be taken lightly this season.

The Buckley bunch had quite a string of losses last season, 10 to be exact, as they struggled without the services of junior Kelsi Tyler in the outfield. She had sustained a knee injury playing basketball.

Tyler will soon be back and better than ever along with fellow cager Brooke Paulson, who plays catcher for the Hornets and recently earned co-MVP honors in the South Puget Sound League 3A basketball sector.

White River turned its 2009 season around, eventually winning 10 consecutive contests and making the West Central District III tournament, where they raised some eyebrows and missed going to state only as they lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to Mount Rainier.

The Hornets were able to pull out clutch victories in the postseason due to the one-two punch on the mound in then junior Meghan Dietrich and sophomore Sarah Steinmetz. Both return to the Hornets this season one year older and one year wiser.

“The plan is to get back to the postseason again and go a little further this time around,” third-year coach Joe Sprouse said. “There is a whole new attitude on the White River fastpitch diamond this season. The seniors and juniors are teaching the younger players how to win and the girls on this team are really believing in themselves, becoming more confident and knowing that they can compete.”

The White River crew will return almost intact as seniors Hannah Dahlem and Aubrey Custer will join Tyler and Kandie Kujawa and Breanna McMillen will return to play third base and shortstop, respectively.

White River picked up senior Spanaway Lake transfer Kim Selby to play second base and Kaylee Roller will take over the first base duties. Occupying any vacancies that may occur will be utility players Rebecca Norris, Joelle Anderson and Roan McQuillen.