The Fort Dorchester softball team is young, but eager to learn.
“We lost seven seniors last year so it’s sort of a rebuilding year for us,” Patriot coach Shae Mansor said. “We lost our entire infield. They are going to make mistakes and the coaches will have to do more teaching this year. But the girls are all very receptive and taking in everything. So far we haven’t had any of the drama problems.”
The Fort returns six lettermen from last year’s team, but only one senior. The oldest players in the infield will be sophomore catchers Anastasia Baber and Olivia Varella.
Eighth-graders Gabby Lawrence and Madison Wren will likely do most of the pitching.
Wren will play third when she isn’t in the circle.
Alison Muschek returns after starting at second last year and will likely remain there. Shortstop Olivia Varella and Ashala Coleman are the frontrunners vying for the shortstop position and Rebekah Lester and Alyssa Brunner have been splitting time at first.
The Patriots do have experience in the outfield, which will be anchored by sisters Savannah and Madison Ferguson. Savannah, a senior, will play left field and Madison, a junior, will play center.
“Savannah has been with the team since her freshman year,” Mansor said. “Offensively she is making gains so she will probably bat higher in the lineup this year. Maddy should also offer some offensive power. They have been here a while and they know what our expectations are so they have stepped in as our leaders.”
A concrete decision on who will play right field has not yet been made.
Brunner, Ward and Barber have also shown promise at the plate this preseason.
Alicia Ward, Erica Lawson, Claudia Varella and Kayla Holladay will provide depth for the team.
“We have a lot of travel ball players who have played together before,” Mansor said. “I think this group just likes to play and they want to win. Winning big games has been a problem for us in the past but I feel we are so young that nothing is really carrying over from the past.”