Noblesville softball head coach Deke Bullard is excited about his team's prospects for the coming season. Bullard said he should have at least six starts returning from a team that went 14-7 last season and advanced to the championship of the Carmel sectional.
Bullard pointed to a trio of players poised to have big seasons.
"We have some very bright spots in our line up including Maddie Moore playing short stop for us again," Bullard said. "Brooke Herron will be doing most of the pitching with Brooke Rundle catching again."
Bullard also acknowledge how tough the schedule will be this year.
"As always in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference and Hamilton County we will have to play the best teams, and there are some very talented ones this year," Bullard said.
The Millers have reigning state champion Avon, reigning regional champion Zionsville and reigning sectional champion Fishers all on the schedule this season.
"Overall, we feel that we can compete this year, and we are looking forward to playing top level competition," Bullard said.
Noblesville begins its season with a home non-conference game against Western Boone on Mar. 21 at 5:30 p.m.
The Westfield softball team enters the season having lost just one senior from last year's squad, providing the Lady Shamrocks with good overall experience.
"I feel the key to our success this season will be solid pitching and timely hitting. The girls worked very hard in the off season and are focused on coming out strong in March," said Brian Revercomb, head coach.
Westfield has three returning All Hoosier Crossroads Conference players in Cassidy Ferrer, Ashley Swartout and Dory Thompson.
"I expect them to be our leaders throughout the season," Revercomb said.
The Lady Shamrocks' schedule is full of talented competition and the conference schedule is as tough as it gets in Indiana, Revercomb said.
"We will certainly need our whole team to step up and support them throughout the season for us to be successful. The support we have as a team and a coaching staff in Westfield is second to none and we feel the program is headed in the right direction. We look forward to a successful 2017 season," Revercomb said.
Westfield opens the season at 5:30 p.m. Monday against Monrovia.
Hamilton Heights softball head coach Landi Lockwood is returning most of her players from the 2016 Husky team that finished 13-13 and advanced to semi state.
"We are shuffling some positions right now, so the girls are working hard to adjust to new roles on defense," Lockwood said.
Lockwood has junior Emily Wright and sophomore Adyson Baber pegged to do most of the pitching. Freshman Kylie Schakel will also pitch some while serving as a backup catcher. Junior Jessica Kaurich returns as the team's starting catcher. Senior Ashton Runner returns as an outfielder. Fellow senior Claire Schildmeier will play third base. Taylor Ewing, Shelby Wills and Mickey Stupp are slotted as utility players working in the outfield and at a few infield positions to round out the defense.
Lockwood also noted that Heights will face a tough schedule this season. The team's success will depend on solid defense and an ability to be aggressive at the plate.
The Huskies begin their season with a home scrimmage against the Taylor Titans on Mar. 17 at 5 p.m.
2017 Carmel Softball Preview
The 2017 Lady Greyhound lineup will return several familiar faces after graduating 3 seniors from last year's 14-11 (7-0 MIC) team. This year's squad will be led by seniors Karly Combs (Indiana), Audrey Hansen (Amherst), Emma Morton, Julia Ranney and Ava Walker
Walker, sophomore Karlyn Doty, and freshman newcomer Sommer Edwards will anchor the 'Hounds pitching duties.
Senior Julia Ranney, junior Sydney Fox and freshman Sarah Goddard will all see time behind the plate.
Indiana recruit Karly Combs will play second base. Junior Molly Kracht will rotate time at first base and freshman and University of Washington recruit Stormy Kotzelnick will play short stop and/or third base. Freshman Sarah Goddard could also see time in these positions.
Carmel returns several experienced outfielders in seniors Audrey Hansen (Amherst), Emma Morton, and junior Darby Roberts. Sophomore Ariana Zdobylak will also see time in the field.