Saints expected to battle Clackamas in the South

SOFTBALL - Mt. Hood faces a familiar foe on the field this spring
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The Mt. Hood Community College softball team enters the season full of hope and confidence that they can defend their title Southern Region champs from a year ago.

After slugging their way to the division title last year with 115 home runs, this year's squad is not expected to produce as many long balls. Instead, the Saints are learning how to manufacture runs and play a small-ball game that has all the players working together.

'When we win ballgames, we win them as a team,' Mt. Hood coach Meadow McWhorter said. 'This year's team realizes the importance of every individual on our roster. They play very well together.'

Pitching played a key role in the Saints' run to the Northwest semifinals, but the Saints will have to rely on an entirely new staff that is comprised completely of freshmen. But there is some experience to support that group on defense, led by returning catcher Chanie Norbury. Sophomore Bryttny Kreshka will anchor the outfield.

Infielder Kathy Cox, a Barlow graduate, took the league by storm last year with 16 home runs. She has already signed a scholarship with Boise State for next season.

Lower Columbia continues to be the gold standard in the Northwest, completing back-to-back titles last season and their ninth overall championship.