Paden City's Lady Wildcat varsity softball team starts off this season with a new beginning, a new coach and a new excitement, all of which they hope will carry them to a successful post-season in May.
Under the direction of first year head coach, Jeanne Fox, the Lady Wildcats hope to improve on their 7-20 win/loss record of last year. "They're all working very well together and working very hard," Fox said. "I think we're going to surprise some people, at least I hope we do."
Fox will be assisted this season by assistant coach, Jessica Dotson.
The team lost four important seniors to graduation last season in Courtney Conaway, Amanda Tallman, Amber Palmer and Stephanie West, but return several with good field experience.
Back on the diamond for the Green will be seniors: Kelsey Loub who will start at second and take her turn in the pitching rotation; Katie Kline, starting at left field; and Ashley Efaw, starting at center field. Chiara Di Leo will see time in the outfield for the 'Cats.
Two juniors return to the line-up: Dominique Craft, the starting catcher for the team; Amanda Heasley, starting at first and taking a turn at second in the rotation.
Sophomores looking to fill slots in the line-up include: Kelsey Loy, likely in the number one slot in the pitching rotation; Samantha Shreves, right field; Megan Cutlip, at short stop; Haley Wade, left field; Lynah Stanley, 1st base and outfield; Tiffany Palmer, 3rd base; and Mara Greathouse, outfield and third base.
Two freshmen join the team for the 2011 season: Katie Shreves, catcher and center field; and Beth Yaron, right field.
The new coach has set lofty goals for the team including making the OVAC tournament in April; accomplishing a winning season; and, of course, winning Sectionals.
One of her main goals, which the team has been working on diligently, is to see some overall improvement of the batting averages.
"We have a great group of girls to with," Fox said. "We are really excited about their talent and ability and want to win. This is going to be a great season."
The Ladies in Green and White were scheduled to play at Valley on March 21 and were to host Bishop Donahue on Tuesday. The team will play host to the Lady Dragons of Cameron on March 24 and will participate in a double header at Parkersburg Catholic on March 26.