Skyline turns out enough players for varsity team only

March 12, 2013

By Lillian O'Rorke

What the Skyline High School softball team lacks in numbers, it makes up for in returning key players.

With only 12 total girls turning out this year, there is not enough to field a junior varsity team. However, varsity is covered. Those returning include Skyline’s No. 1 pitcher from last year, sophomore Winter Ridgeway. Making up the other half of the battery is Tia Hedman, also a sophomore.

“Our catching is one of our strong points,” Ken Brooks, the new head coach for Skyline, said about Hedman. “She is just a very aggressive gal. She is just a pure athlete. I couldn’t have asked for a better kid back there.”

Also returning for the Spartans is senior shortstop Megan Burris, senior outfielder Charlotte Zhao, junior Riley Davidson at first base and junior Madisen Camp-Chimenti in the outfield.

“We’re looking good,” Brooks said. “We have a core group of kids that came back.”

The team also has some promising newcomers, including freshman Annika Hildebrand who will play mostly at third base, Brooks said, but can also help with pitching. As well, Emily Baril, a goalkeeper for Skyline’s state champion soccer team, decided to return to softball after years away from the sport.

Brooks himself is returning this year as well. He served as Skyline’s head softball coach from 1997 to 2003. During that time, he said he regularly had 30 athletes turn out every year. Now that he’s back, he said he plans to also put in time with Little League and work to get the Spartans’ numbers back up.

“Our goal is to get this program back on track,” he said. “My assistant and I are in it for the long haul. We know it is not going to happen overnight. It will take a few years to get it back to where we will have a JV team.”

The softball team is also hosting Auburn Riverside, with the game set to start at 4 p.m. March 13.

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