Prescott doesn't mind being targeted
PRESCOTT - Being the defending league champs may well put a target on any ballclub, but there is one advantage to this as Prescott High School Head Softball Coach Matt Smith points out.
"One thing we have going for us is that we already know we can win," Smith said. "We've done it before and the competition still has to prove they can do so."
And Prescott won't make it easier for them to do so. The MBC champion Cardianls will be a moving target as they return 11 letter winners including All-MBC players like senior Alyssa Krings, junior Mary Kate Pryor, and two honorable mention candidates, senior Shelby Anderson and junior Sophie Carlson. So far the Redbirds have been quite elusive with their 3-0 overall and league record, including key 4-3 win last week against Somerset and win over New Richmond.
The Cards only graduated three seniors from last season's 16-4 ballclub (12-2 in the MBC): All league players Kallie Krech and Sammie Hansen along with Emily Langer.
However, Krech was the Cards' pitcher and replacing her may have to be done by committee at first. Carlson will be on candidate as is freshman Marti Johnson, sophomore Cassie Murphy, who was the JV pitcher last season and seniors Murphy and Erika Krings.
"In years past players like Chloe (Carlson) and Kallie could win games on their own but this season we may give up more runs just because we're not as set on the pitching mound. That's why we need to play some very solid defense."
There's no better place to start than with the league's best catcher in Alyssa Krings. Pryor is two-time All-MBC player at shortstop. Carlson is set to play second when she's not pitching and Murphy will play first. In the outfield will be Johnson, Anderson, Durhman, Augustine and Jada Holst.
"We've got a lot of good hitters in our infield spot," Smith said. "You obviously have Pryor and Krings of course but when someone like Sophie is batting .350 in the seventh spot, that's a heck of a line -up."
Other returning letter winners include seniors Erika Krings, Kayla Murphy, and Jenni Johnson along with junior Demi Augustine.
Smith sees a tough MBC race ahead with the Cardinals battling Baldwin-Woodville, Ellsworth, New Richmond and Somerset for the league title.