Coming off last year’s 21-10 record Purcell’s fast-pitch team is looking for camaraderie to go along with a talent laden group of players.
Sarah Jones begins her sixth season at the helm of the Dragons and is hoping to build a solid foundation for a squad that has depth, power and versatility.
“Those are the best three words to describe us,” Jones said. “If we can keep the mental attitude we have now and carry it through the entire season we’re setting ourselves up for a successful post season.
“We have a lot of girls that are going to play a lot of different positions,” the coach continued. “There will be different combinations of girls in the field as the season progresses.
“Our batting lineup can be strong,” Jones said. “We have a big group of freshmen coming in and a couple of them will probably see the field in a varsity game.”
Returning starters or players that contributed heavily last year are Sunny Sanders, Katelynn Carwile, Chelsea Spain, Hannah Buchanan, Sandra Del Toro, Karson Jennings, Addie Stanton, Brook Fleming and Khia Tyler.
Kyleigh Smedley is back from injury while Missy Nimsey and Kaylee Evans both return as well.
Sophomores on the squad are Natalie Auz and Haleigh Smith. They will be joined by freshmen KK Eck, Lauren Holmes, Kylie Gish, Kylie Cole, Ava VanAmberg, Gracie Harris, Kaylee Stephens and Brooklyn Shreve.
Gone from last year’s team due to graduation are Dru Bryant and Alexandra Schafer.
Everyone else is back including manager Kyla Deaton.
Jones said she and assistant coach Mandy Clay along with new junior high coach Stephanie Knowles and assistant junior high coach Lauren Masters have been working hard all summer.
Together with basketball coaches David Sikes and Robin Hamilton they have put together a girls’ summer pride program that had about 90 athletes participate over the summer.
“We had between 50 and 60 junior high and high school girls in about every session,” Jones said. “I’m so proud of the girls for their work this summer. It was pretty awesome.”
The fast-pitch season begins August 12 on the road at Bridge Creek. The home opener is August 13 when the Dragons host Harrah at 5 p.m.