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Bowsher’s lineup is stacked with the most experience, which makes it the choice to repeat as City League softball champion.
Perhaps more significantly, the Rebels form a team full of confidence.
“We expect nothing less than claiming the City title for a second season,” Bowsher coach Jolene Brewer said.
It’s also clear to Waite coach Kevin Boisselle about who is the front-runner.
“Bowsher will be the team to beat if you want to win the City championship,” Boisselle said. “Start will be a very tough team as well. After that I see everyone as on the same level.”
Bowsher and Start both had 8-2 league records last season. The Rebels won the CL playoffs title.
Waite, Scott, Rogers, and Woodward are all expected to show improvement in the second year for the six-team City League.
Bowsher (12-11, 8-2 CL last season) is led by seniors Nikki Broshious (infielder), Maya Wymer (catcher), Amanda Stockman (outfielder/catcher), and Marissa Speelman (outfielder).
Broshious, the City League player of the year, led all hitters with a scorching .671 batting average. She tagged 10 home runs with 44 RBIs and scored 43 runs.
Wymer batted .400 with 26 RBIs, and Stockman (.328, 19 RBIs, 12 stolen bases) ranked among the league’s best hitters.
“Nikki Broshious is the leader for the offense,” Brewer said. “Leadership on this team is the key to our success.”
Junior Victoria Turnbough (pitcher/infielder) ranked third in the league with a .563 batting average with 35 RBIs last season. Junior Jess Sharp (outfielder) and sophomore Emma Cowell (infielder) are expected to contribute.
Start (9-8, 8-2) figures to challenge Bowsher for the top spot.
Sophomore Halie Kinor (infielder) batted .500 last year and is considered the team’s top returning offensive threat. Junior Chelsie Randolph (utility) hit .300.
“We have a strong young team and will be expecting great things this season,” Start coach Hillary Bates said. “The team communicates well and puts in a lot of hard effort and work.”
Sophomores Daniel Hamman (infielder) and Rebecca Wynnik (pitcher/catcher) were also contributors a year ago as freshmen.
Waite (10-13, 6-4) lost several top performers from last season’s team.
That doesn’t mean the Indians will not play a role in determining the league crown after qualifying for the four-team playoffs last season.
Seniors Elicia Garces (pitcher), Hailey Schwart (catcher), Courtney Smith (infielder), Brittney Wallace (outfielder), and Alex Zacirious (outfielder) lead the way for the Indians.
Boisselle is looking for steady development out of a young Indians team after losing five players to graduation.
“It will be a challenging season,” Boisselle said. “We should be competitive in the City League. If the girls continue to work hard as they have, we can have a decent season.”
Rogers (7-12, 6-4) returns five letterwinners from last season’s team that proved competitive in league play most times out.
Cha’Ron Sweeney (outfielder) led the Rams with a .429 batting average during her junior season and will serve as a catalyst this spring. Jamela Warren (utility), who batted .366 a year ago, is also expected to provide leadership for Rogers.
Michelle Blue (infielder), Callie Stull (pitcher/infielder) and Bailey Davis (catcher/infielder) also provide experience.
“We’re going to be very competitive,” Rogers coach Kelli Short said. “It’s really up to them and how much they put into it.”
Scott (0-18, 0-19) is led by senior outfielder Carmella Hill, who batted a team-best .300 last season.
“After a disappointing campaign last season we are looking to bounce back and climb the City League standings this year,”Scott coach Kyle Clark said. “It’s probably going to be tough but we are definitely looking for a top four finish.”
Seniors India Wright (catcher/shortstop), Talaijia Davison (pitcher/infielder), and Lakeisha Ross (pitcher/infielder) have experience.
Junior Royal Mumford (pitcher/infielder) and sophomore Taylor Toney (infielder) are among top newcomers.
“A key to our success will be how much our offense improves,” Clark said.
Woodward (3-12, 2-8) expects to be more competitive.
"I think we’ll be a decent team and look to finish at least .500," Woodward coach Dan Smith said. "I think it will come down to pitching."
Marion Hester (pitcher/infielder), Ricca Turner (pitcher/infielder) and Vanessa Vazquez (pitcher/outfielder) are expected to provide senior leadership.
Junior catcher Brittaney Walker, who hit .371 with 16 RBIs and one home run last season, was an All-CL first team pick.