>With a new facility, the CCHS softball team takes the field for the 2001 season
With losing five seniors to graduation last year, the CCHS softball team will take the field as a fairly young group of ball players, but it will be a group made up of many athletes who have played the game together before.
   "I think our main strength is going to be our attitude," explained CCHS head coach Kevin Wooldridge, now entering his fourth year at the helm. "They've played together all summer, so they know each other and play well together."
   The Cowgirls, who ended last season with an IMC record of 3-15 and an overall record of 7-19, look to put together a consistent, solid season for 2001, a season which will feature a new and improve facility known as "Uncle Lee's Fields."
   "We have to stay more focused and play a full game," Wooldridge said. "Last year, we gave up a lot of big one and two innings and that cost us. We just can't do that."
   Returning this year for the Cowgirls are senior pitcher Joy Childress and senior shortstop, third baseman Tifinie Howard. Coach Wooldridge expects the two players to take on the leadership role for the younger players.
   "They have to," Wooldridge said. "It's the role they have to take on and I think they will. I've already seen them show it in practice."
   Also returning to this year's squad are junior outfielders Andrea Meadows and Jessica Rhoden. Sophomores Nicole Kludt and Candace Cooley return in the infield for the Cowgirls.
   Freshman Hannah Kriege will take on the role as catcher and will pitch at times, while sophomore Ashley George will look to pitch as well.
   Returning to the squad after a year or more of absence are juniors Chelsea Callan and Faith Newton and senior Denee Newton.
   The Cowgirls kick off the season at the jamboree Monday in Redmond, before opening non-league play against Madras at home March 15.
   "I'm taking the jamboree as another practice, that's the approach I'd like to take" Wooldridge said. "We have to see where we're at maturity wise and how they play in pressure situations."
   Intermountain Conference play for Crook County begins March 30 at home against Hermiston. A dedication for the new "Uncle Lee's Fields" will take place March 31 at the double header against Hermiston.
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