Last softball season started out with such promise for Columbus East.
The Olympians won two of their first three games out of the gate. But then they lost 17 of their last 18 to finish 3-18.
East lost its top pitcher and catcher, but does have a few starters returning. Beyond that, coach Rusty Brummett has five freshmen who could see significant playing time.
“We’ll be pretty young,” Brummett said. “We have a good nucleus of girls. Those girls have some experience, and the girls that are coming in play a lot of travel ball. It’s a little scary to play that many freshmen, but we also have some nice upperclassmen that are going to get some spot assignments, as well.”
Sophomore Brooke Valles did some pitching last season and played first base when she wasn’t in the circle. Junior Kendra Pastrick played some third base and catcher and may see action at shortstop this season.
Junior Kamryn Cantu returns at second base and could move over to short. Senior Kaitlin Wagner is a four-year starter in center field.
Freshman Becca Carter will do some of the catching, and freshman Jordan Johnston will play first base and do some pitching. Freshman Haley Engelking could play second, third or short. Freshmen Maddie Foster in left and Carissa Bombardiere in right will start in the outfield.
Senior Jackie McCorkle, who saw a little action last season, but broke her hand pinch-running, could play in the infield. Junior Cassie Claycamp provides depth in the outfield.
“As I tell the girls, the first nine that start the season are rarely in those positions when we end the season,” Brummett said.
The Olympians had 20 freshmen try out for this year’s team. Brummett kept 16 — five for varsity and 11 for JV.
He hopes the team can overcome that youth as the season progresses.
“We’re still going to take our lumps, but I think by the time we get to sectional play, we’ll be pretty good,” Brummett said.
The 2017 Columbus East softball schedule:
Thursday;Bloomington North;6 p.m.
April 1;at Bloomington South (DH);11 a.m.
April 4;Brownstown Central;5:30 p.m.
April 6;at Floyd Central;6 p.m.
April 7;Brown County;5 p.m.
April 8;Greensburg (DH);11 a.m.
April 11;at Franklin;5:30 p.m.
April 15;Mt. Vernon (Fortville) (DH);10 a.m.
April 17;Columbus North;5 p.m.
April 20;at Seymour;5:30 p.m.
April 21;at Shelbyville;5:30 p.m.
April 24;at Mooresville;6 p.m.
April 25;Jennings County;5 p.m.
April 27;at Bedford North Lawrence;5:30 p.m.
May 1;at New Albany;6 p.m.
May 2;at Madison;5:30 p.m.
May 4;Trinity Lutheran;5 p.m.
May 8;at Jeffersonville in HHC tourney;5:30 p.m.
May 10;HHC tourney;5:30 p.m.
May 12;HHC tourney;5:30 p.m.
May 18;Scottsburg;5 p.m.