Stacy Fleming is expecting the Marietta High softball team to be competive on the diamond this spring.
"We ended last season on a high note," said the second-year Tiger' head coach "and we're hoping that it continues into this season."
MHS was 7-15 overall in 2012 but 7-6 in the East Central Ohio League. One of its biggest wins was a 3-2 come-from-behind triumph over Meadowbrook at Phillips Field in mid-April. The Lady Colts of Byesville entered the game at 15-2.
That victory helped boost the team's confidence, and Fleming is hoping there's a carryover into this season.
Marietta graduated five seniors from the 2012 team - Maggie Harrison, Bree Seevers, Kyrie Walsh, Alexa Miller and Caytlin Zimmer. So, there will be positions to be filled on the diamond.
"We have a fairly young group of girls," Fleming said. "But it's also an experienced group - and they catching on quickly.
Marietta High softball
Head coach: Stacy Fleming
Assistant: Jim Fox
9 Kara Carpenter (2b), 11 Alexis Beardmore (c), 25 TeeJay Flanagan (Utility), 26 Lindsay Hiatt (p), 25 Maddie Farrar (1b)
2 Katie Dalrymple (cf), 6 Cecelia Morgenstern (of), 21 Tyler Lamb (inf), 23 Samantha Wheeler (utility/c)
14 Abby Harrison (inf), 16 Jessie Mossack (lf), 24 Bebekah Haught (3b)
7 Shayla Lamp (p), 8 Shae Hutchison (p/inf)
Overall, the numbers look good with 27 on the combined orange and black varsity and JV rosters.
"We have a lot of talent on the JV team," Fleming said, "and I won't hesitate to promote some of them."
Going around the horn, Lindsay Hiatt is expected to be the No. 1 pitcher at the start of the season. Her backups will be freshmen Shayla Lamp and Shae Hutchison.
Alexis Beardmore is back at catcher, and southpaw Maddie Farrar returns at first base - and will also hit in the cleanup spot in the batting order.
At second base will be veteran letterwinner Kara Carpenter, one of the best contact hitters on the team. A left-handed swinger, she'll probably bat in the leadoff spot.
Shortstop is pretty much up for grabs with the departure of the slick-fielding Seevers to graduation. Right now, Fleming is looking at Tyler Lamp, Abby Harrison, and Hutchison at this key defensive position.
At third base will be Bebekah Haught, a starter at the hot corner as a freshman a year ago.
The outfield is pretty much wide open with several candidates vying for a starting role. Some of those people are Jessie Mossach, Cecilia Morgenstern, TeeJay Flanagan, Katie Dalrymple, and Samantha Wheeler, who's also a backup catcher.
"I believe we're going to have good balance on offense and defense this season," said Fleming a former MHS Tiger and Salem (W.Va.) International softball player.
Fleming will be assisted by Jim Fox.