Prescott softball under new managementPRESCOTT — Matt Smith has never coached high school softball But Smith certainly isn’t entering his first season as Prescott’s new softball coach a blank slate either.
By: Sean Scallon, Pierce County Herald
PRESCOTT — Matt Smith has never coached high school softball
But Smith certainly isn’t entering his first season as Prescott’s new softball coach a blank slate either.
Smith was an assistant baseball coach at Hudson for five years and certainly has it down pat where the two games overlap.
“Fielding a ground ball, catching a pop fly and the mechanics in the swing of your bat, they’re all basic parts of the game that I’ve been able to coach in the same way as I did in Hudson,” Smith said.
Where Smith needs a little help is coaching the pitchers. Fortunately, such help has come from former PHS head coach Jay Bartsch and former Cardinal alumni.
“They’ve all been a huge, huge help and I’ve been learning along with them.” Smith said.
The situation is complicated in that PHS graduated starter McKenize Morris from last year’s regional championship squad.
The Cards’ finished 6-16 overall and just 2-12 in the Middle Border Conference but won four of their last six ballgames.
And making the situation even more difficult is the graduation of catcher Natalie Most along with All-MBC player Katie Hovel, Cassie Lubich, who received honorable mention All-MBC, and Emily Helmer.
Last year’s No. 2 pitcher Chloe Carlson is slated to move up to the starting role backed up by junior Mary Johnson and sophomores Kallie Krech and Emily Langer.
“From what I’ve been hearing Chloe has been throwing very well in practice so far,” Smith said.
Only one position is certain so far and that’s shortstop which held down by senior and returning All-MBC player Carissa Boleen. The rest of the line-up has to wait until the weather warms up before it can be determined.
“You can’t win a position inside a gym,” Smith said. “The kids have been working hard in drills and improving their fundamentals and skills but we won’t get a realistic feel as to where everyone is at until we get outdoors.”
PHS’ top returning hitter is senior Chelsea Wilfong as she had a .370 average in MBC action. Smith hopes the Cardinals can be a better hitting team this season.
“I think we can be a more dangerous team at the plate, Smith said. “We want to hit the ball with good contact and hit line drives. And that’s what we’re working on in practice.”