With a fairly inexperienced team, Pettisville softball hopes to be playing its best by the end of the season.
“I expect us to progressively improve each day and compete in every game,” said head coach Kendra Stahl. “We want to be a solid team to contend with.”
The Blackbirds should be in good position in the circle as they return first team All-BBC and honorable mention all-district performer Kyra Behnfeldt.
She posted a 10-8 record with a 2.96 earned run average and 106 strikeouts a season ago. Behnfeldt also had a .426 batting average with 12 runs batted in and 23 runs scored.
“Pitching will be our best strength this season,” said Stahl. “Kyra had a great sophomore season and we anticipate another great year.
“I expect our hitting to be competitive and progress throughout the season.”
Also returning are Sami Tilley (honorable mention All-BBC), Andrea Flory, Sydney Purtee, Brye Sprow, Gretchen Lee, Brittney Sauder, Madelyn Krueger and Starr Kessinger.
Tilley hit .304 with 15 RBIs last season.
However, they lose five letter winners off last year’s team, including Amber Klopfenstein who was first team all-league, first team all-district and honorable mention All-Ohio in 2016. Also gone are Kaija Blosser (second team all-league), Jaelyn Rufenacht (honorable mention all-league), Marissa Beck and Mallory Riegsecker.
“There will be a lot of players in new or different positions this season,” said Stahl of her team’s potential weaknesses. “I expect our players to work and develop to get better and make defense one of our strengths.”
Stahl likes the competition the Blackbirds’ league will bring this season.
“The BBC will continue to be a competitive conference,” she said. “Edon, North Central and Hilltop will be solid teams this season. Any team can rise to the top and I expect us to compete.”
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010