Van-Far head softball coach Wes Rowden will have a revamped infield to start the 2014 season after losing several players to graduation from a season where the Lady Indians finished one game under .500.
With an influx of younger players into the starting lineup, this year’s Lady Indians will turn to its returning starters for leadership.
Seniors Breanna Strange (CF, P) and Annaliese Hubert (RF, CF) will be key to Van-Far’s success.
Other returners include Madison Orr (C), Autumn Sutton (OF, P) and Kaylein Wilson (SS, LF).
Key newcomers include Jayda Borgmeyer (injured), Alexis McCurdy (1B/IF), Renee Nelson (1B, OF, 3B), Lindsey Nitcher (IF), and Alexis DeTienne (IF, P).
“We just have to get better and learn how to play the game,” Rowden said. “We’re extremely young this year…We’re going to have to move some people around, filling the spots as they come. When you lose the entire infield, it’s a question mark the next year. I believe they can do the job. They are going to have to believe they can do the job. They need to be aggressive and not be timid.”
Strange will be the team’s No. 1 pitcher with Borgmeyer, DeTienne, and Sutton also expected to see some time on the mound. Carleigh Phillips may also see some work on the mound.
In order for Van-Far to be successful, the team will need to cut down on critical errors that hurt them at times last year.
Rowden said one tough spot to fill will be third base.
He is encouraged up the middle with Orr, Hubert, Strange, and Sutton.
Offensively, Hubert returns after hitting .400 and earning all-conference honors last season.
Strange and Orr are also expected to be strong in the lineup.
Rowden says he’s looking forward to seeing his girls face live pitching from other teams.
“We’ve got some younger girls who don’t do a bad job right now,” Rowden added.
Van-Far opens the season in the Hallsville Tournament on Saturday, August 23. Their first home game is against South Callaway on Wednesday, August 27 at 5 p.m.