The Washington slow-pitch softball team will lean on the versatility of its players as it navigates the 2020 schedule.
“Kids can play multiple positions and it will be fun to watch,” said Washington Head Coach Jace Brewer. “We’ll be able to hit and field a ton better and we’re much more versatile.”
Washington returns senior Hope Madden, who went off for 49 home runs last season. Madden will bat in the three hole, according to Brewer.
Also returning for the Warriors are Brynn Farmer – who Brewer plans to bat in the four or five hole – as well as potential cleanup hitter Emma Curry.
Ashleigh Gay is back and will assume pitching duties and Julia McLaughlin will lend her experience to the outfield.
Mattie Richardson also returns with experience in the Warrior outfield.
Brewer has high expectations for freshmen Tinley Lucas, Skylar Wells and Abby Wood in the outfield as well.
Lucas will pitch some as well.
Fellow freshmen Elly Allison will bat in the six or seven holes and Ellie Loveless will secure the one or two hole.
“We’ll work until we find a lineup that works for us,” Brewer said. “We’ll get lots of reps.”
Brewer is eyeing the defensive side of the game as a key to the season.
“I’m hoping defense will be a strength and we have a chance to be a lot better defensively,” Brewer said. “Defense still matters in slow-pitch if the ball doesn’t go over the fence and we need to hold extra bases and extra outs down. We’ll try to keep improving on defense and acclimate our young kids to high school slow-pitch.
“We also have to give ourselves a chance with pitching.”
Washington will need to get players up to speed quickly to replace a pair of All-Staters in Brooke Logan and Jillian Willige.
The Warriors also lost important pieces to the puzzle in Jillian Blair, Raylee Pogue and Faith Andrews to graduation.
A point of emphasis for Brewer’s team will be to find a way to be tougher as a team as they battle ups and downs of a slow-pitch softball game.
“We have to be able to put people away when we get up and battle back when we get down,” he said. “We need to remember it’s a hitter’s game and there’s always a chance to come back.”
Washington opened the season with Moore High School Monday and were defeated 19-4.
“We weren’t very tough and didn’t give ourselves a chance,” Brewer said.
The Warriors were back in action Tuesday evening at Mustang.