Team figures to compete for Cowapa League title
by: John Brewington PRACTICE BUNT—Scappoose’s Cassidy Hoglund gets in a few bunts during hitting practice last week. Hoglund is a returning all-league third baseman.

Scappoose High softball Coach Dean Smith has a young group this season, but he feels this may be his strongest team since the Lady Indians finished as a runner-up in his first year coaching.

The Tribe had just 24 girls out this season and have divided them up with 12 on each the varsity and jayvee teams.

'We going to be stronger defensively and on offense,' Smith said. 'If I had an ace pitcher we'd be tough to beat this year. We're still going to be tough. We have a lot of team speed and we're going to be fine.'

The varsity squad will have six sophomores this year. One pitcher, Ashley Witt, moved away to Texas, leaving sophomores Lacey Updike and Sophia Hart as the two main hurlers for the Lady Indians.

The Tribe had eight girls on the all-league list last spring, including Player of the Year Leslie Hancock, but return just two. Back are first team selections Cassidy Hoglund and second team pick Amara Templin.

Hoglund, a junior, will probably be at third base again and Templin, also a junior, at another infield position.

Kennedy Bailey, one of four seniors, will take over behind the plate. She has considerable varsity experience in the position. The other seniors include Kara Kuiper (outfield), Molly Reardon (centerfield), and Micaela Brooks (outfield).

Sophomores Lexi Courtney (second base), Lexi Schlosser, Haley Wight, and Brittany Catlow will round out the team.

'Everyone is going to see some action,' Smith notes. 'The team is looking pretty good right now.'

Smith looked at Banks and Yamhill-Carlton as the teams to beat in the league this year. 'Their pitching is phenomenal. Tillamook and Astoria will be okay. Seaside-not so much.'

He added, 'We're going to be able to play right with them (Banks and YC). We get a hit here or a hit there and we'll be good. We have a strong defensive team and can hit the ball everywhere. We've got three or four girls that can hit it out at any time.'

Smith said the Lady Indians are already close to where he wants them to be this season. Good weather last week helped get the field in good shape. The field already drains better than most in the area, and the staff has put in a lot of time getting it ready.

Scappoose kicks off their season this Wednesday (March 14) at Gladstone (weather permitting). They host Clatskanie March 19 and travel to Cleveland on March 21. They host Douglas in a doubleheader on March 27 (spring break) and then head off to Mac-Hi (McLoughlin) for games with Sweet Home and La Grande, March 30-31.

Scappoose opens league play on Tuesday, April 10 at Astoria. They are at St. Helens for an endowment game on Wednesday, April 11.

All games are subject to change due to inclement conditions.

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