By Jeremy McDonald
SCIO, Ore.– It’s the first season without the once-in-a-generational class that just recently graduated this past June at Scio High School for their Softball team.
That class had certainly left a huge standard behind with the Loggers seeing four-straight 3A State Semi-Final appearances during their time in the Orange and Black.
A standard that those Varsity returners like Kasidee Parazoo, Olivia Zeiher, Megahn Mikolas, Alexus Franklin and Ashlynne Ziebert know that this will be a whole different team to live up to those standards.
Head Coach Jim Mask enters his fourth-year at the helm of the Scio program and made the transition from baseball coach to softball coach while last year Seniors were sophomores and admits that it’ll be a learning experience for them as coaches as much as the players.
“There’s a lot of unknowns right now I guess, more than anything,” said Mask. “We’ll work hard. We’ll figure out where people need to be. It’s just a learning process for the coaches as much as the players right now just trying to figure out what will work best for us.”
Parazoo, who split time with Kelsey Pollard the past two seasons, will probably be the workhorse pitcher this season with Pollard graduating, is ready to take over the bulk of the workload this season with Mikolas the Loggers number-two pitcher behind her.
“I’m really excited, I’ve always wanted to get on the mound a lot more so I was really looking forward to this season so it’s going to be a good one,” said Parazoo.
Parazoo and Zeiher at catcher still represent that power-hitting ability that Scio has built up the past few years. Parazoo admits too that it’s up to her and Zeiher as Seniors to help leave a mark like those Seniors before them to not get down on themselves and to keep battling.
For those younger girls like Franklin, she admits that they’re going to be the underdogs this season to the powerhouse in Dayton now in their league along with Amity and Blanchet Catholic, but it is something that they are just embracing entering their first game next week.
That standard that has been set for them, they are embracing it themselves as well.
“I’m excited for this year honestly for our team to grow,” said Franklin. “I feel like teams that think we can’t do much, should probably be cautious and not sleep on us.”
With that tough league that saw the Warriors, Pirates and the Cavailers make the postseason with them, the new-look PacWest Conference won’t be no cake walk as they enter 2019.
But Mask admits that’s what preseason is for, to figure out what they have and how they can improve as they lace it up for Kennedy Monday, Jefferson Wednesday and Gervais Friday next week.
“Dayton’s always tough, they got to be the favorite,” said Mask.“But Blanchet is going to be right there too, they got a really good pitcher, one of the best in the State I think. They’re going to be tough, so it’s just a matter of us figuring out who we are right now and that’s the whole preseason.
“Part of it is going to be us getting girls in the right spot and getting them coach up. It challenges us but it creates quiet a bit of excitement so I’m excited.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald