As softball season gets underway for the girls of Southern Denton County, the 2015 season has the potential to be one of the more exciting in recent years.
With plenty of talent returning to the diamond on teams that were just a few steps away in 2014 a state tournament appearance, a couple of teams could have some pretty decent playoff runs this season.
Over at Flower Mound High School, the Lady Jaguars are coming off of a phenomenal season in which they went 9-1 overall in district play and won a district championship.
Coach Mark Larriba said that things are shaping up well for his team this season and said he anticipates a good effort from his program.
“We’re looking good,” Larriba said. “We return seven out of nine players on defense and six out of nine offensively.”
Larriba said he expects Annelise Oswalt (2-time District MVP) .505 ave 6 HR, 28 RBI & 2.12 ERA, Sydney Springfield (LSU signee).426 ave, 7 HR, 35 RBI, Mauri Jamele (Wichita St signee).352 ave, 4 HR, 21 RBI, and Claire Lefner (Tarletan St signee) 2.33 ERA to lead the way for the Lady Jaguars this season.
Flower Mound finished 30-8-1 last season and reached the regional semi-finals.
In order to have another good run in the post season, Larriba said it will take a couple of things.
“Deep run means we come together as a team with one heartbeat, great pitching and defense, and with timely hitting,” Larriba said.
Across town at Marcus High School, Coach Christy Tumilty said that things are looking good for her girls early on, as well, but added that she has found a prognosis on this season hard to get a gauge on because of something over which she has no control.
“We looked solid in our scrimmages and our tournament at Forney,” Tumilty said. “However, this weather this week is creating a bit of a challenge for us to continue working and competing so we can prepare for district play which starts next week.”
Marcus finished 24-10 last season, including a 6-4 district mark and took third place in district competition.
The Lady Marauders defeated L.D. Bell in the bi-district round and lost to Mansfield Timberview at area.
Bonna Molina, SR, 3rd Kayla Blythe, Soph, OF/P Kendra Hess, Soph, C should be among the team leaders for the Marcus softball team this season, and Tumilty said the objectives for this season revolve around the post-season.
“Compete in every district game and finish in the top four to make a playoff run,” Tumilty said. “This district is very competitive and will prepare all of us for playoffs, so the four teams that finish in the top should make a great playoff run.”
Tumilty said she will need two things for her team to have a good playoff run.
“We’ll need solid pitching performances from our 3 pitchers – Ally Lindsey, Kayla Blythe, Haley Bourland, and offensive production,” Tumilty said.
For the Guyer Lady Wildcats, a trip to the regional quarterfinals last season should make the team excited about the prospect for a good post-season run once again.
The Lady Wildcats finished 27-7 overall on the year, including an 11-3 district mark.
Guyer will look to Shayne Starkey, Sophia Popowski, Hannah Hodapp, Tara Solomon, Alyssa Dixon and Lauren Lindgren to lead the way this season, all of which received all-district honors last season.
Starkey was named the Utility Player of the Year for the district last season.
Guyer will be solid at the infield corners this season and in the outfield, and to have a good run in the playoffs, the Lady Wildcats will need a couple of solid pitchers to emerge.
Down the road at Argyle High School, the Lady Eagles finished up last season with a third place finish in district and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
Coach Kevin Cook said he is feeling good about the Argyle softball program heading into the season and is optimistic his team will be competitive.
“We’re getting off to a good start,” Cook said. “We will field both a varsity and JV with about 25 girls out.”
Returning starters for the Lady Eagles are Ashton Tarwater, Chey Altolf, Kate Weaver, Kennedy Cullum, and Lilly Carter.
Cook said that it will take a few things for his team to have a good run into the playoffs.
“”We are working on putting a strong defense behind our pitchers, Callye Leenhouts and Cullum,” Cook said. “If we can stay injury free and score some runs then we will be successful.”
At Liberty Christian School, the Lady Warriors are looking to rebound from a difficult season, in which they finished last in district competition.
Look for Payton Elsey to lead the way for Liberty Christian this season.