By Jeremy McDonald
DALLAS, Ore.– Filling five holes will be difficult to do for Dallas Softball this year. But it’s not too much of a steep task entering the 2020 Spring.
Losing Seniors Jenessa Parnell, Emma Classen from the outfield, stud pitcher Kaelynn Simmons and Adrian Lee behind the dish to graduation plus Genevieve Kelly (outfielder) to transfer, the Dragons will be looking to new faces to fill those roles.
Morgan Dippel and Madison Friesen will be in the outfield this year. Friesen, a Senior, missed her Junior year last year due to a foot injury suffered during basketball season that will add a extra Senior voice to the Starting IX next to Zoe Whitlow at third base.
“Me and Maddie, we’ve grown together since Freshman year and we’re slowly working on getting our voices,” said Whitlow. “So far I felt like we’re doing a pretty good job. It’s bittersweet that it’s our last season together, but together we’ve grown.”
Whitlow and Freisen are the lone two Seniors on the roster that bolsters six underclassmen for a program looking to reach the Field of 16 for the fifth-straight year this Spring.
Daphne Fuller will be taking over the catching duties this year, taking the reigns from Lee. Fuller is a sophomore.
The tricky part will be pitcher. Maddie Doig and Madelyn Loughary both saw action in the circle last year when Simmons recovered from an early-season concussion; but with Loughary out recovering from appendicitis surgery, Doig will be the main arm.
Both will be seeing action in the outfield as well this season.
“It’s definitely going to be difficult coming off of not pitching very much, but I’m excited to see where it’s going to go. I just got to keep my confidence up and do my thing,” said Doig.
“I don’t think we look at it as holes, we look at it as opportunities for us to grow and to get better. I mean we may have lost a few Seniors, but that’s just gives us an opportunity to really step it up and show that we aren’t just one player. It’s a whole team effort, so we just got to work really hard.”
With nine girls returning from last years Varsity squad that reached that 5A State Championship, the knowledge of what to expect of the Varsity goals and expectations are there for the girls under Head Coach Brandi Jackson. It’s just a matter of getting it done when the pitches start counting next week.
“They know our expectations and they know how things roll. So having that year under their belts of maybe they were behind somebody, but give them that extra confidence in and extra work of getting to where they are now. So I don’t have any question if they’re going to be successful stepping into those roles,” said Jackson.