Softball: Sherwood is looking forward to take on the strong competition of the NWOC
by: DAN BROOD, STEADY AT SHORT — Junior Alyssa Troccoli is back for her third season at shortstop for the Lady Bowmen.

SHERWOOD - They're in a new classification.

They're in a new league.

But the Lady Bowmen are looking to come up with the same successful results.

The Sherwood softball team, with a strong group of returnees from last year's team that had an overall record of 24-3, has an optimistic view for 2007.

'We're pretty solid,' Sherwood coach Lance Gilgan said. 'We're not as deep as we're used to, but we're still solid.'

The Lady Bowmen, who won the Class 3A Tri-Valley League championship last year with an 18-0 mark, move up to the Class 5A level and the new Northwest Oregon Conference.

'The league is going to be tough,' Gilgan said. 'I think the league champ could have four or five losses, but competition like this should make us better.'

Junior Brooke Davis will be Sherwood's main pitcher. 'It's Brooke's show this year,' Gilgan said.

Davis is off to a strong start to the season, having already pitched a perfect game.

Freshman Hannah Muller may also pitch some for Sherwood, but she should see most of her action at the junior varsity level. At catcher, Sherwood will have sophomore Brittany Morales.

The Lady Bowmen should be strong in the infield, where they have three returning starters.

Junior Alyssa Troccoli will be starting at shortstop for third straight year. Last year, she was a second-team all-league pick. Next to her, at third base, will be senior Elisha Hartwig, who also earned second-team all-league honors last year.

Hard-hitting junior Megan Van Noy, a first-team all-league pick a year ago, returns at first base. Freshman Cora Schaefer takes over at second base.

The Lady Bowmen also have a pair of returning starters in the outfield in juniors KayLee Swartz and Jackie Walck, who were both second-team all-league picks last year. Swartz will play in left field while Walck, who played in right field last year, moves over to center field.

Speedy freshman Shahnaz Mooney will be in right field. Sophomore Jamie Bradshaw should see time there as well.

Sophomore Annie Scott and freshman Breanna Davis could also see some varsity action.

One key player the Lady Bowmen will be missing this year is junior catcher Melissa Peck, who was a first-team all-league pick last year as a sophomore. She'll miss the season due to a shoulder injury.

'That's a big bat to lose,' Gilgan said. 'But she's still a big part of the team. She's going to help with Brittany (Morales).'

As for the NWOC this season, Gilgan sees a battle for the top spot.

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