“New” is the key word for the Columbus North softball team as it heads into the 2015 season.
The Bull Dogs have a brand new facility at Southside Elementary, a new coach and several new players. They hope that will lead to some new-found success this spring.
Robyn Coffer, who takes over the coaching duties from Jerry Burton, is new to the softball program but no stranger to North athletics. She’s been the school’s athletic trainer the past four years.
Burton retired after leading the Bull Dogs to a 17-11 record and a sectional runner-up finish last season.
“Jerry left me in a really good situation with players that can play many positions,” Coffer said. “A lot of times, you have to rebuild. The transition has been easy because the players already know the ropes. They have expectations and can grow from that.”
Back to lead the Bull Dogs is four-year starter Kelsay Lucas. The Oakland (Michigan) recruit batted .364 with 12 doubles, two home runs and a team-high 30 RBIs last year. Lucas mainly plays third base but can also play first and pitch.
Junior Christine Bombardiere figures to do the majority of the pitching this season. Bombardiere, who played mostly in the outfield last year, went 1-5 with a 5.39 ERA and batted .375 with 10 doubles, a homer and 18 RBIs.
Sophomore Madisyn Prince and junior Lilly Petro could also do some pitching and play first base. Junior catcher Tommi Stowers (.418, 12 doubles, one HR, 24 RBIs) and junior shortstop Katie Prall (.357, eight doubles, two triples, 11 RBIs) are three-year starters.
“It’s great that we have those kids back,” Coffer said. “The Kelseys, the Christines, the Katies, the Tommis have been there. That blend (of experience and youth) isn’t an all bad thing because the upperclass leadership has stepped up so far.”
Junior Makayla Caudill (.188, five RBIs) returns in center field. Senior Shaena Wasilewski (.204, four RBIs), who started some in right, will move to left field. Junior Paige Deneve takes over in right.
Freshman Clare Hill or junior Liz Bell will take over at second base.
Juniors Kat Borroughs and Lauren Imaly could see action as utility players. Freshman Josie Harden could play center field or catcher.
Coffer hopes she can lead North to Conference Indiana and sectional titles in her first season.
“I think we would be a contender,” Coffer said. “The fact that our seasoned players are talented players, I think they have the ability to lead us there.”
The 2015 Columbus North softball schedule:
Friday;East Central;6 p.m.
April 4;Whiteland (DH);10 a.m.
April 9;at Shelbyville;5:30 p.m.
April 14;Seymour;5:30 p.m.
April 16;Franklin Central;6 p.m.
April 18;at Brown County Tournament;9 a.m.
April 20;at Columbus East;5 p.m.
April 21;Bloomington North;6 p.m.
April 23;at Southport;5:30 p.m.
April 25;at Center Grove Tournament;11 a.m.
April 30;at Perry Meridian;5:30 p.m.
May 4;at Edinburgh;5 p.m.
May 7;Indian Creek;5:30 p.m.
May 11;at Brownstown Central;5:30 p.m.
May 12;at Bloomington South;6 p.m.
May 13;at Greensburg;5:30 p.m.
May 16;Conference Indiana Tournament at Bloomington;noon
May 19;Jennings County;5:30 p.m.
May 21;at Hauser;4:30 p.m.