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New coach leads optimistic LO softball team

Armed with a solid presence on the mound, the Lakers hope to compete


VERN UYETAKE - Lake Oswego catcher Brionna Gereb figures to be one of the top backstops in the league this year and is also a force at the plate, doubling as the Lakers' leadoff hitter.The Lake Oswego softball program has been one in search of some stability for a handful of seasons now and the Lakers hope they have found it in new coach Stacy Burdick-Denham.

Burdick-Denham previously coached at the high school and club level in Nevada before moving to the Portland area and she is excited and hopeful about building the program at Lake Oswego.

“We weren't able to field a JV team this year so I'm definitely wanting to get that going in the next year or two,” Burdick-Denham said.

The Lakers are a young and enthusiastic team this year and one that hopes to surprise a few people this season.

A large reason for Lake Oswego's struggles over the past few seasons has been its lack of strong starting pitching. But the Lakers think they have solved that issue this year with Morgan Jones, who has been a third baseman in recent seasons, making the shift.

“Morgan pitched a pit growing up but she has really embraced the role and done very, very well so far,” Burdick-Denham said.

Jones already has a one-hit shutout under her belt this year in a victory over Woodburn and her pitching coach, former Laker coach Tina Johnson, is an assistant with the team this year.

Lake Oswego features a young mix of brand new players and highly experienced ones and should have a strong starting nine this year.

“In the next two seasons we're only going to graduate three players. It's a strong group of freshmen and sophomores,” Burdick-Denham said.

Jones expects to be a key fixture in the team's line-up, along with her battery mate Brionna Gereb, a quick and dangerous leadoff hitter.

Sam Silva gives Lake Oswego experience at third base, along with Lauren Working beside her at shortstop.

At second base, Kelsey Deos will help a solid defensive infield while Adeline Norris, who is making a return to softball this year, helms first base.

In the outfield, sisters Madison and Lillian Harwood will patrol centerfield and rightfield while Camryn Leland mans leftfield.

“If we can string some hits together I think our offense could be a threat and our defense has looked really good,” Burdick-Denham said.

The Lakers are optimistic that they can be competitive in what has traditionally been an unpredictable Three Rivers League.

“I know there are some good teams out there and I want to say we'll be one of them,” Burdick-Denham said.

Lake Oswego opens up league play April 15 against Tualatin.

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