Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The Green Wave softball team will open the 2013 season as the No. 6 Class AAAA team in the state.
Defending 4-A champion Hillcrest is the top-ranked team in the coaches’ preseason poll while Boiling Springs is second and Carolina Forest, which eliminated Summerville in the 2012 Lower State championship series, is third. Rounding out the 4-A Top 10 are JL Mann, Mauldin, Summerville, South Florence, Blythewood, Wando and White Knoll.
Summerville lost catcher Kaitlyn Clark and centerfielder Sarah Montei to graduation, but this season the Green Wave does return 11 varsity letterman from the team that won the District VIII bracket in the 2012 playoffs and finished the year with a 29-5 record.
Summerville coach Heather Tucker is optimistic that if someone steps up to fill the void left by the departure of the two all-state players then her team will make another strong run.
“Not only were they both big at the plate, they were also team leaders so we are looking for someone to step up,” she said. “Defensively I feel pretty confident about our group so it’s just a matter of who is going to provide the consistency those two provided. When we need a big hit, who is going to get the job done.”
Sarah Windham, Taylor Wuerfel and Hannah Horton return to the team after starting the past two seasons so it seems logical they will help fill the leadership void. Windham is the team’s shortstop. Wuerfel did the majority of the pitching last season and Horton held down third base.
Also returning to the team are pitcher Summer Jenkins, catchers Taylor Belfiore and Anna Gluhosky, infielders Taylor Knight and Lauren Keefer, outfielders Kayla Branton and Dani Halajcsik and utility player Taylor Powell.
Branton is the only senior on the team but several of the team’s juniors and sophomores have been in the Green Wave system for multiple years.
Tucker has added two new players to the roster. Sophomore Victoria Norris has good speed and will likely see action in the outfield. Freshman Brittany Olean shows promise as a hitter and is being groomed as an infielder.
“We are having trouble finding the right mix,” Tucker said. “That’s not a bad thing it is just that we have a lot of really good players so it’s hard to pick nine to put out on the field. We have a lot of kids who are versatile and can play different positions.”
Wuerfel and Jenkins are among the players who may see action at multiple positions this season.
“We have two pitchers who I feel good about so we might go to more of a two-pitcher rotation,” Tucker said. “One is a righty and one is a lefty; one throws harder but the other has a little more control so when we switch pitchers it will be a big change.”
Time will tell whether this year’s Green Wave team will be able to follow in the footsteps of the 2012 squad but starting out that is the goal.
“I don’t care how much experience we have, we always shoot for the top,” Tucker said. “We want to get back where we were last year. If you have high expectations for the kids often times they find ways to meet them.”
Summerville opens its season March 4 in Goose Creek. The home opener is scheduled for March 6 when the Green Wave will host Stratford.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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