It’s not “Angels in the Outfield,” but coaches in the infield that could give Marion softball a shot at improving on last season’s 12-8 mark.
Coach Jennifer Felvus said that the game knowledge senior pitcher Shelby Felvus and senior catcher Paige May bring to the field will be an advantage in a year when three of the four infielders behind them will be full-time starters for the first time.
Shelby Felvus and May have been playing pitch and catch since they were freshmen.
“Both girls have experience at other positions, so there’s a lot of knowledge there,” Jennifer Felvus said. “Together, they have a great deal of experience, so it brings an element to the field that definitely raises the players around them with their awareness and experience.”
With Kourtney Hansen returning at shortstop, the Lady Warriors have a strong infield core, which should bolster the newcomers.
Taylor May will move from the outfield to third base. Coach Felvus will swap Baileys at second, with Bailey Baker replacing graduate Bailey Robson. Lindsey Sigel will anchor the bag at first.
The outfield is still somewhat unsettled.
“We’re still looking at things, but we definitely have some strength in the returning experience we have in Allie Molleker, Taelyn Pagel, and Tori Shults,” coach Felvus said. “All of them started at some time, but they weren’t consistent starters for me last year. I expect them to play a large role, but I also added Grace Overton and Emily Hague. Tori Boyd is still in the mix for an opportunity in the outfield as well.”
Hague will reprise her role as relief pitcher.
“It’s a nice change to get an experienced and accurate pitcher in that looks different; she’s a great second pitcher,” coach Felvus said. “It’s a good balance for us to have Emily waiting to take the mound when we need to roll to a relief pitcher.”
Planning for the future, freshman pitcher Overton and freshman catcher Kaylee Rudolph will get plenty of time together for junior varsity.
“I’d like to cultivate that duo to replace the duo that’s leaving,” coach Felvus said.
Fans may notice something different when the Lady Warriors come to the plate.
“They’re going to see some different strategies than they’ve seen from us before, and I think they’ll be excited and it will be fun,” coach Felvus said. “Why play the game if it isn’t fun? We’re going to mix things up a bit. The personnel we have this year is going to allow us to do that. I think we’re going to have a pretty strong offensive team. We’ve got a lot of speed. We’ve got some really strong hitters that are going to swing for some power.”
Marion will open the season Tuesday on the road at Council Grove.