Marionville softball won four games a year ago, but it looking to trend up entering the new Southwest Conference this season.
The Lady Comets will be led by their lone returning all-conference selection in senior Madylon Davis, who earned first-team all-conference honors in the outfield.
“Madylon Davis is one of our go to players in the outfield and as a leader,” head coach Mark Estep said. “She has been all-conference and all-district all previous three years. She has tremendous range in center field and understands what needs to be done for our season to be successful.”
Davis hit .564 last season.
In the circle, Marionville returns senior pitcher Alexus Buckert and has two incoming freshmen in Hunter Forester and Chelsea Hupp who could see time pitching. Buckert is also a strong hitter who posted a .444 average last season.
The infield defense will be keyed by junior Kelsey Grimm at shortstop. Grimm also hit .426 at the plate. Sophomore Alyssa White was a key utility player who will also factor into the varsity lineup.
There will be a lot of competition to fill out the starting lineup for Estep’s Lady Comets, which is a good thing.
“One of our biggest strengths this year will be our depth and versatility,” Estep said. “We look to have several players this year that will be extremely athletic and talented and can play all over the diamond. The key will be our understanding as coaches to find the best combination.”
Whoever fills out the varsity lineup will need to be ready on the offensive side as well.
“We will need to be successful in the lower half of our lineup to truly challenge opponents,” Estep said. “Our top hitters last season were absolutely tremendous but as we got further down in the hitting order we became inconsistent. We need to be strong top to bottom.”
Marionville has big goals this year entering the new Southwest Conference.
“There is no reason this year for us to not compete for a conference championship and be in the district championship game. We need to set our goals high and work hard every day to reach them,” Estep said. “Playing in the new conference will allow us to see some teams we haven’t played before but I truly feel we will be competitive and a top contender every single night.”
Marionville opens the season on Mar. 15 at home against Crane.