Coach Jeff Putnam said he was looking forward to the season, but that there was still work to be done to get the team ready to play.
“Our first game is still two weeks out,” said Putnam. “We’re still working on positions. There are a couple that are set. But, just like last year, we’ll be moving players around.”
One position that appears to be set is pitcher. Junior Jarrett Niles and freshman Hannah Sullivan will share time on the mound for the Wildcats this season. Niles brings some experience, although she missed most of last season while on a foreign exchange program. Sullivan also will have to round into form, as she missed her eighth-grade campaign recovering from an injury.
The rest of the team is made up of seniors Leah Putnam and Callie Dix, who each bring four years of experience to the squad. Sophomores Kara Bird, Celia Betit, Emily Hohn, and Loren Pike also bring a veteran presence to the team, as they all filled key roles last season.
New to the team this season are junior Maria Page and freshmen Sadie Boyd, Jayden Crawford, Janelle Fisher, Shelbea Fournier, Leora Longe, and Kylie Reed. Joni Sullivan also joins the team as assistant coach.
One goal the team hopes to achieve is a better record than previous seasons, Wildcats softball teams have won only one game in the past two seasons. With a combination of veteran ability and youthful enthusiasm there’s no doubt this year’s team will be competitive. Whether or not the wins come will depend on executing the fundamentals, developing pitching, and having some breaks go the Wildcats’ way.
It will also help the team to have some snow melt, so they can get out of the gym and onto the grass for practice. Players and coaches all commented on the lack of field time as a limiting factor in their growth as a team.
Weather permitting, the Wildcats start their season on the road on April 24 at Bellows Falls. First pitch will be at 4:30 pm.