Freeman’s softball and baseball programs are at different ends of the experience spectrum.
The Scotties softball team returns all but one starter from last year’s fourth-place finishing team, while the baseball squad graduated six starters from its third-place finisher.
“By far this is the best team I’ve had since we’ve done fastpitch,” said softball coach Jackie Babin.
Baseball coach Jim Straw knows his team is young and must be competitive in a different way than last year’s.
“We’ll have a different personality,” he said. “We used to be able to bang the ball with anybody. We’re relying now on pitching and defense.”
The Northeast A League season begins today with doubleheaders against Chewelah.
Softball team ready to battle
Experienced afield and with two strong pitchers, the softball team hopes for a first.
Freeman hopes to succeed against Frontier AA schools in an end-of-season tournament for one of two state berths.
“It’s a very realistic goal,” said Babin. “No one has done it but we found we could play with them last year.”
Senior pitcher Angela McCathern will get to play more shortstop, her preferred position, with the addition of freshman hurler Leslie White.
“I want two pitchers and Angela wants two pitchers,” said Babin.
The lineup includes veteran junior catchers Megan Russell and Helda Dahmen, junior first baseman Mel Heyn, sophomore second baseman Karie Amend, senior shortstop Brook Watson and senior third baseman Jenny Burton.
Outfielders are senior Jo Ramsey and junior Holly Adams.
Other varsity players are infielders, junior Tiah Petrie and sophomore Nicki Roecks.
A third outfielder will come from those who don’t start at other positions.
Pitching, hitting key to baseball
If Freeman’s pitchers do well and hitting comes around, Straw said they will compete.
During a pair of early wins, he liked what he saw.
“A lot will depend upon our pitching,” he said. “If the games were any indication, the bats will come around.”
Senior left-hander Justin Padden is the most seasoned of the hurlers.
Seniors Ken Beeler, last year’s shortstop now moved to third, first baseman Ben Harper, another lefty, and Nate Odle, sophomores Jared Pope and Brian White are the other hopefuls. White also plays outfield or third base.
Sophomore Parker Brooks is at second base, junior Matt Miller moves from outfield to shortstop.
Junior Josh Sheffield, senior Josh Olson and versatile junior Matt Smith are catchers. Smith can play first, third or outfield.
Also in the outfield are junior Josh White and sophomore Chris Miller. Swing players are sophomores Bill Morphy and Deric Lamphiear.
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