Posted: Thursday, March 12, 2015 6:48 pm
Head coach Amanda Szabela, who’s entering her fourth year coaching Rossville, is hoping this is the year all of the hard work pays off for the Hornet softball team.
“I’m really excited,” she said at Monday’s practice. “I hope that this year is going to be an example for everyone else to be able to see how hard our kids have worked in the last three years.”
“I hope that in this year things will start to pay off because it’s been rough,” she added. “For my two seniors it’s been incredibly rough on them. They’ve won two games in the last three years.”
Seniors Scotlynn Mathews and Addison Bushfield return this season after making honorable mention all-county last year.
“I just want to build this year because we really haven’t been that good since I’ve been a freshman,” Mathews said. “I hope that I and the two other upperclassmen can really help the underclassmen build up and win some games.”
In addition to the three upperclassmen (including junior Kaela Hinton), this year’s roster will feature four sophomores and 11 freshmen.
“I have three freshmen that are going to start right out of the gate in some pretty solid positions,” Szabela said.
Those freshmen will by centerfielder Cassidy Underwood, pitcher/short stop Maggie Deboy and catcher Cory Taylor. Szabela anticipates those three hitting leadoff, third and fourth respectively.
Szabela said the team has struggled on the mound during the past three years, but noted this year’s group of pitchers to be “solid.” Deboy and sophomore Alexis Longenecker will split pitching duty.
Behind the plate, Taylor will be taking over as catcher.
“I’ve watched [Taylor] since she was in middle school and her progress between her seventh grade year and her freshman year has been phenomenal,” Szabela said. “I’ve seen her grow to a player that I never thought was capable, and I’m really excited because I feel like she’s got a lot of room to grow.”
Szabela said she has more kids who play travel ball this season than in years past.
“They’re doing more than just picking up the glove in March and putting it down in May,” she said. “I’m hoping that the results are going to show on the field this year.”
Rossville begins the regular season at Benton Central April 6 with its home opener scheduled for the next day against North White.