COLUMBIA — If it’s true that experience equals wins, then the Hickman softball team should have a lot to look forward to in the 2011 season.
The Kewpies return every player from a team that finished 13-15 in 2010, while also adding a few promising freshman to the mix. Coach Courtney Haskell has compiled a deep roster and hopes that an extra year of seasoning will lead to a deep playoff run.
Southern Boone at Hickman
WHEN: 5 p.m.
WHERE: Rainbow Softball Center at Cosmopolitan Park
“I think, for where we were last year and where we are now, we’re playing really well,” Haskell said. "They battled through some adversity, and I think that’s going to help us down the line.”
Although she is only a sophomore, pitcher Riley Wilson is an example of the experienced, gritty leader that the Kewpies will need as the season progresses. Wilson started virtually all of Hickman’s important games in 2010.
Haskell said that while there are an abundance of young players on Hickman’s roster, many of them have already seen game action, much like Wilson.
“A lot of those kids played varsity last year. Riley is a sophomore pitcher who threw every big game for us, and I think that’s huge,” Haskell said.
Freshman pitchers Shannon Greene and Molly Carter will also play roles this fall, and the trio's different pitching styles should help keep opponents off balance.
“They each throw differently,” Haskell said. “They’re totally different. We’ll just see what our team needs that day and go from there.”
Haskell said the pitching staff might lack velocity but can get outs in other ways.
“They’re not overpowering by any means, but they get the job done for us. They get a lot of ground balls,” Haskell said.
The Kewpies’ depth should also help.
“We haven’t had the same lineup yet, which I think is great for us. It’s huge to be able to give some people a break,” Haskell said. “I think that’s one of our biggest strengths. We’ve got a lot of options.”
While this group's experience and depth might be especially promising, Haskell’s team goals are always the same.
“I think every coach’s dream is to win a championship, and I think that’s what you strive for with every season and every team,” Haskell said.