The Friday Harbor softball team racked up some impressively large numbers even before the 2015 season began.
A total of 27 girls turned out for the team… that’s right, 27; that’s enough just in bodies alone for Head Coach Brian Lambright and assistant coach Kirk Holt to field three separate teams.
Better yet, it’s the cornerstone of a sturdy, expansive and solid foundation for the softball program and for passing the torch from one year to the next. A year ago the Wolverines had only two seniors to lead the squad.
This season, the Wolverines should prove strongest where, in the game of fast-pitch softball in particular, it often matters most, on the mound and behind the plate.
All-league pitcher Caitlyn Domenech will be back on the mound for a fourth consecutive year and longtime battery mate and fellow senior Ronnie Hanson will be back behind the plate to anchor the defense.
The Wolverines should also benefit from a budding crop of athletically gifted, battle-tested and soon-to-be well-seasoned lineup of underclasswomen. The roster includes a long list of athletes who have both tasted and been fortified by the intensity of competition during the fall and winter sports seasons.
Lauren Ayers, Alex Mora and Hannah Hopkins played key roles on the Wolverines state tournament soccer squad, and Lili Wood, Hayden Mayer, Savannah Hoffman and Kiana Woods bring a wealth of experience and competitive fire from the volleyball and basketball court to the softball diamond.
Coming off a 2014 season in which the Wolverines finished in the middle of the pack against a series of mostly 1A opponents, Friday Harbor will competing for post-season play exclusively against its Division 2B counterparts this season, as well as for the Northwest 2B/1B League title. Like the soccer, volleyball and basketball squads before them, the road to the post season runs through the like of La Conner, Orcas Island, Darrington and Concrete for the 2015 softball team.
Still, the Wolverines will be able to test themselves and their mettle against a number of bigger schools, as this season’s schedule, with Squalicum, Burlington-Edison and Sedro Woolley waiting in the wings, features match ups against no fewer than three Division 2A teams, as well a pair of Division 1A opponents, Coupeville and Bellingham.
The Wolverines could get a jump on the competition in the league title race, as they host La Conner, Orcas and Darrington in three of their first four league games.
— Scott Rasmussen