NEW PARIS — Despite low numbers in the program, fourth-year National Trail softball coach Krista Alldred is high on optimism.
The Blazers, who finished 16-8 overall and 7-5 in the Cross County Conference last year, have only 11 players in the entire program but that’s not stopping Alldred from thinking big.
“We are excited for this season. We only have 11 but its a great 11,” she said. “The girls are such hard workers and very coachable. They come in every day wanting to get better. It’s a great group. Our goal this year is to take it one game at a time with the winning on our mind. Working as a team to get to our goal each day.”
Back from the most successful team in several years are Kerestin Nugent (Sr.), starting second basemen and captain this year, who leads by example and works hard day in and day out, according to Alldred.
Also back is Ariel Lee (Jr.), who will start at short stop, and is co-captain this year.
Senior Payten Laird returns at pitcher/first base. Sophomore Bobbi Jean Grimes is back in right field, while sophomore Kayleigh Minner will man center field.
Sophomore Gracie Jones moves from outfield to the starting catcher, while sophomore Elizabeth Glander will be in the circle most of the time..
Newcomers include sophomore Savanna Abner, who was injured most of last season. She will see duty at third base.
Alldred said freshmen Makenna Jones (1B, OF) and Davlyn Werner (OF) will add to the team.
The Blazers opened the season going 4-1 during the first week of the season. They lost to Troy, a Division I school, 6-3, before claiming wins over Franklin-Monroe (4-1), and Dixie (22-5 and 18-2).
Trail was scheduled to play Hagerstown (Ind.) on Monday, April 3, and Mississinawa Valley on Tuesday.
The Blazers are scheduled to host Union City (Ind.) on Wednesday, before traveling to Newton on Thursday and Preble Shawnee on Saturday for a double header.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH