PRINCETON — The best thing about her softball team, Princeton softball coach Alyssa Rose says, is that it will be very versatile.
Nearly all of the 13 rostered varsity squad members can play multiple positions. The second-year Tigresses’ coach believes she will have the pieces to mix and match for a successful season.
“I am very excited for this season. We are going to have a young team this year but a lot of talent,” Rose said. “I have a lot of girls who can play a lot of positions. I feel great about our lineup because I have so many different options that I could go with.”
The Tigresses bring back three seniors in Lexee Camp (IF/OF), Rachel Jensen (C) and Courtney Oeder (1B). Oeder knocked in a team-high 24 runs, batting .278 a year ago. Jensen, who took over the varsity catching duties the middle of her sophomore season, batted .234 last year.
Rose will lean on them for their experience, all with multiple years of varsity seasoning.
“These girls are a huge part of our team They have a lot of experience, and they are great leaders,” Rose said.
Jensen likes the chemistry the seniors have built with the younger players.
“Lexee, Courtney and I love the team. The chemistry is amazing right now. It just gelled the minute when we were put together,” she said. “I think that’s the most exciting part as far as chemistry goes because there were no down times so far, where no one talked to each other. We are constantly interacting with each other and laughing or joking around with coach after practice. I think it’ll be a great year.”
Sophomore Miranda Sorenson (.203) is another returning starter, one who Rose said has put in a lot of work on her hitting.
With the graduation of Alisa Holmbeck (8-13, 4,70), an All-BCR First Teamer who did the bulk of the pitching the past two seasons, sophomore Adrienne Snethen will take over as the main pitcher in the circle. She went 1-3 with a 6.80 ERA over 35 varsity innings as a freshman.
Classmate Olivia Vergamini will be the backup pitcher, and Rose said she has made a lot of improvements. She will also play outfield, batting .237 with the varsity last year.
Newcomers to the varsity team this year include juniors Becky Hughes (IF), Jocelyn Lucas (U), Kate Vigars (P/U) and Maddie Forristall (U) and sophomores Katie Bauer (U), Paige Smith (U) and Kesi Hjertstedt (U). They are a versatile group, Rose said.
“All of these girls are very versatile players. They can move around to a lot of different positions and be successful in those positions,” she said.
Along with their versatility, Rose said the Tigresses “are going to have some speed this year, which will help us a lot.”
“I think we have a great team this year that is full of great options for many lineups,” Jensen said. “The team is only made of three seniors, so even though we are young, I believe the experience that each girl has will take us far.”
The Tigresses look to improve on last year’s 9-17 slate, going 5-8 in the Three Rivers Conference. Tuesday’s season opener with Rock Falls and Thursday’s game were canceled with the Tigresses looking to take their first swings at home Saturday vs. Dixon.
“We are expecting a lot out of this season and have big goals for ourselves. The girls are stepping up and taking the initiative to become better softball players,” Rose said.
Notes: The majority of the PHS softball dates (24) this season will include a F/S contest to follow the varsity.
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