Varsity Softball is swinging for the fences this year

Sophomore Allison Schroeder and Junior Camren Callup practice batting at the beginning of practice on Friday, Mar. 29, 2013.

Photo: Lindsay Breslin

Sophomore Allison Schroeder and Junior Camren Callup practice batting at the beginning of practice on Friday, Mar. 29, 2013.

By Daulton Cooper, Sports Editor

Members of the Fairmont Varsity Softball team have started the 2013 season looking like they’re determined to put last year’s 6-16 record behind them. The girls are off to a 2-0 record with a 10-0 win over Carroll High School on April 1¸ followed by a 11-1 victory over Fairborn the next day.

The 2013 season brings a surprising number of underclassmen to the varsity team, giving them high hopes for this year and years to come. “I’m excited about the diversity of grades on our team,” said Softball Head Coach Bob Franz. “It’s a good mix of experience and young talent.”

The season is also young, but the girls and their coach are laying the groundwork for a successful one. “This is the time of year to be optimistic and maintain high hopes for our season,” said Franz, who is in his first season coaching at the varsity level.

Franz said it’s difficult for him to compare this year’s squad to last year’s since he wasn’t coaching varsity in 2012. “I will say we are a hard-working squad who is looking forward to the challenges of our season,” said Franz. “We certainly plan to work to be successful and contend for a league title and post-season play.”

Only four of the varsity members are seniors, and those girls expect their experience will help their team. Seniors Jessica Dalzell, Dottie Deis, Kelsea Grise and Olivia Kepner are ready to lead the team. “We have all intentions to take back the GWOC title this year,” said Dalzell. “The other seniors and I are looking forward to a much better season this year.”

On the other end of the grade spectrum, this year’s Varsity team also has three freshmen: Melanie Grant, Kirsten Steinke and Danielle Wilhelm. Coach Franz says he has faith in these underclassmen. “Even though we have three freshmen, most of our players have advanced experience playing select softball outside of Fairmont,” he said.

Sophomore Allie Schroeder said she feels “really confident” coming into this season. “The chemistry of this team is unbelievable and it really will help our team win.”

The girls are pumped, the coach is confident and the team is undefeated so far. “We are looking forward to the challenges of our season,” said Franz. “Our preparation has been very strong, and we’re anxious to put our skills to the test against the GWOC and the rest of the teams on our schedule.”

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