SPRING PREVIEW: Girls’ softball starts off with clean slate | SierraSun.com

SPRING PREVIEW: Girls’ softball starts off with clean slate

Out with the old and in with the new.

This may very well be the theme of the 2001 Wolverine girls varsity softball team, with a new coach and seven new players on the TNT bench.

After two years with Truckee, former coach Cathy McClintock handed over dugout ownership to Jack Howard, a former umpire for the league.

While Howard is still orienting himself to his new team, he has the advantage of watching many of the girls play in his four years officiating behind the plate.

One such player is two time All-League and last year’s All-State pitcher, Heather Shove. Shove will return to the mound this year for the lady Wolverines after taking her team to the AAA Nevada State Tournament in Mesquite last year.

The team took home fifth place overall, losing to Spring Creek the eventual tournament champs. Howard believes his team’s chances are even better this season.

“We are faster and more aggressive than the team has been in the last few years,” he noted.

Competition for the Wolverines promises to be tough with new 3A arrival Lowry and a competitive Manogue bench. The Miners finished third last year and boast seven year-round players who will lead on the field.

Last year’s state champions Spring Creek suffered massive losses due to graduating seniors and may open the door for the Wolverines to rise to the top of the league standings.

Returning players from last year are Teal Cutter, Courtney Burton, Heather Shove, Jessie Turner, Vanessa Ramirez and Shelly Raddo. After taking a year off, Cutter is returning to the line-up and will be playing shortstop and second base. Sophomore Vanessa Ramirez will be catching for her second year after a promising freshman start.

Jessie Turner will be covering first place and batting clean-up, while Shove will resume her spot on the mound.

The line-up is subject to change as new players are worked into the framework of the existing players. Howard admits that with only one returning outfielder, they are weak in the grass but have lots of new talent to fill in the gaps.

“We definitely have the speed factor working for us and will be using the bunt to our advantage,” said Howard.

Experience will also be a bonus for the Wolverines, as more girls have been playing in leagues in the off-season than ever before.

The regular season will commence today at Dayton at 3 p.m.

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