By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The Sprague softball team will have a big void to fill at pitcher after the graduation of Sophia Honse following this past season. Looking to fill the void will be sophomore Kaylee Lundeen, a transfer from Crater High School.
As a freshman, Lundeen saw some action and helped the Comets to a 21-7 and a playoff appearance in 5A this past season, learning from longtime Head Coach Chris Arnold and carrying that over to the Summer where she played with the NW Vandals organization.
“It helped me a lot. Him and Roger Robinson…they helped me with fundamentals and to be quicker because it’s a quick paced game, (Playing with the Vandals) helped a lot, the pace gets a lot quicker and it’s a big jump from 14’s to 16’s. Doing Summer teams, it helps me get quicker pace and endurance so you can pitch games and tournaments and just being one of few pitchers on this team, you’ll have to be able to pitch multiple games,” starts Lundeen
“Just hitting my spots,” she continues. “I can hit a spot, but not exactly how I want and consistency with certain batters and frequencies. Different rotations, pitching rotations and make sure I got them nailed down so I’m not missing right down the middle or missing too high .”
Lundeen will be one of two pitchers stepping in for Honse this Spring. Around them will be a solid cast of players. Summer Melena, Callie Stubbs and the return of Stella Puckett after a year off from High School Ball to name a few as the squad looks to compete in a tough Central Valley Conference and aim for another appearance in the 6A playoffs.
“I think last year we wanted to improve, the team dynamic we were so much closer to and I think that definitely helped us…I think we can do it as long as we don’t let it get to us and bring us down. If we can keep practicing and come out like we did last year, then we’ll definitely come out on top again,” Melena said.
The Olympians opens the season March 14 at home against Century before heading to Silverton Wednesday and McMinnville on Friday.