Following a district runnerup season in 2018, East Clinton softball has high hopes for the 2019 softball season.
“We are playing a very difficult schedule to prepare for tournament,” coach Matthew Zimmerman said.
With just four returning starters, Zimmerman will have to hope several young players step up as East Clinton looks to repeat is 14-9 mark.
Williamsburg will provide the top competition in the SBAAC National Division, Zimmerman said, but his squad can win the championship if “we stay focused and don’t falter.”
That’s not easy with so much inexperience.
“We are very young and inexperienced,” said Zimmerman, in his third year at ECHS. “We are expecting the young ladies to fill some pretty big shoes.”
Among the biggest shoes to fill will be Sierra Christian (11 wins, 1.10 earned run average), Marah Dunn (114 innings as catcher), Makayla Smith (.525 batting average) and Kayla Hall (0 errors in the field).
Zimmerman is assisted by Jeanne Brightman, Bob Hazelbaker and Trevor Dunn, along with junior varsity coaches Nakkea Mulkey and Kelly Durham.
Top returning players are Taylor Boeckmann (Youngstown State signee), Mackenzie Campbell, Kate Durbin and Miranda Beener. Boeckmann hit .528 last season while earning All-Ohio honorable mention.
The top newcomers are freshmen Kiera Brightman, Lydia Kessler and Alycia Barker.