By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– For Madisen Oliver, the first-year Head Sprague Softball Coach is in a favorable spot with several key returners to help in her first year at the helm of the Olympians.
“It’s so nice to have some veteran-ship oh my gosh,” smiles Oliver. “I feel nervous, but I don’t feel nervous because I got their experience and their expertise behind me so now we just got to mesh it all together and building a program. I feel like we have the potential of being really great.”
She’s heard stories of Sophia Honse and her ability to smash the ball if she gets a hold of a good pitch. Honse, who’s returning to the circle for her final year with Sprague, is a Western Illinois-commit and is one of two college signees on the roster . She’s joined by Carley Schlag, a Western Oregon-commit, who will anchor the middle infield position as the two are part of a five member senior class along with Hayley McCuisition, Summer Domrude and Jenay Rubalcava.
Leaving a legacy is what Schlag points out as they take the lessons learned from their 6-7 shortened-Spring Season this past school year where they lost three games by one-run.
“A lot of patience and to keep practicing strongly. I think it’s a lot do to with communication with our teammates and coaches of how we’re doing on-and-off the field,” Schlag said. “I think this year is more setting a tone and leaving a legacy.”
“Our hitting and our defense this year is going to be on point this year and I’m pretty excited to see what happens,” Callie Stubbs adds. “Last year really helped me develop mentally tough as a player and mentally ready for this year. I’m ten-times better catching than I was last year, just knowing how to lead and communicate with my teammates. Just knowing from the batters box and smash the crap out of the ball without getting all tense.”
Stubbs, a sophomore catcher. is one of three sophomores returning who played as freshman last year. Ali Ginsbach, a junior, also returns for Sprague. The Olys have five freshmen on their roster as they look to the seniors to lead them this year.
“It’s really cool to see a Division-1 pitcher at Sprague and it’s really something you can look up to not only hitting wise, but also as a mentally tough player. We also see Carley going to Western, it’s really awesome to see the freshman and all of these players doing so awesome that we can do amazing things with this program,” Stubbs said of the squad.
Sprague kick-off the season at Roosevelt on March 14 before hosting Lincoln on March 15 in Salem. The Olys will then host North Medford March 19 at Scio High School to close out the first week of games next week.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald