Spring is just now starting to arrive, and the Lady Raiders softball team is ready to get outside just as soon as the field is ready. First year Head Coach Brittany Edwards has been leading practice in the Raiders Den for the 15-member squad, and the team is showing a lot of positives.
Edwards has been working with the squad on general skills and team tactics. She spoke enthusiastically about the team. "We have been working together as a team, especially since there are only two returners. Building our skills as individuals both on defense and offense. We have been working a lot on contact hitting and getting their swings to where they need to be. Defensively, we have been working extensively on routine plays, bunt coverage, communication, cut offs, getting our throws, fielding the ball correctly, and run downs."
Although thirteen of the current Lady Raiders are freshmen, the 2018 team has good experience and is showing improvement daily. Returning veterans include short stop Julie Hampton and catcher Gabrielle Smith. Hampton was a standout on last year's team and led with a .449 batting average and was named to the Mountain Valley Conference team. Smith played an integral role on the mound last year as well and hit .375 on the season.
Photo: Gabby Smith (L) and Julie Hampton (R) swing off of the tee.
The Raiders look to newcomers; Alexis Darling (Johnstown), Sam De La Fleur (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake), Emily Washburn (Gloversville), and Taylor Hill (Johnstown) to all play an integral role in the lineup.
"Our biggest strength is our infield with Hampton and Smith as our short stop and catcher, we are looking to them to lead the team on getting big outs and out of innings. We are also deep into pitching. Having a lot of pitchers will allow us to do well in double headers especially if a girl is not having a good day," said Edwards.
FM looks to start their season on Friday, April 13th at home against Onondaga CC. The first game will begin at 3:00 p.m.
"We want to win as many games as we can, and improve everyday whether it's on their throws, hits, and or base running. We are looking forward to getting out on the field and playing some softball," said Edwards.