By Kai Raymer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Safe to say, the past three seasons were unlike any others in Camdenton softball history.
The Lakers hadn’t won a district championship before the 2016 season.
They enter the 2019 season having won three straight district championships.
While change is ahead with six starters gone, second-year coach Tyler Dinsdale said the Lakers “still expect to be very competitive.”
“We knew we had a large graduating class, so we prepared our underclassmen to be able to step up and fill those roles this year,” he said.
Camdenton brings back three starters in senior outfielder Raegan Waters and juniors Emma Rakes (OF) and Kylee Moore (infield/utility).
Each one enters their third season in the starting lineup.
Rakes was an all-region selection as a sophomore. She hit .376 (.914 on-base percentage) with 10 RBIs, 35 runs and seven stolen bases.
Moore hit .260 (.649 on-base percentage) with 14 RBIs and 13 runs. Waters added 10 RBIs and 16 runs.
“(Rakes) could be our lead-off hitter and should hold down center field for us,” Dinsdale said. “(Moore) is very strong defensively at third base.”
Camdenton graduated the winningest class in program history.
Between 2015-18, Camdenton won 85 total games, two outright conference titles and three district championships.
Gone are six starters who earned 2018 all-conference and all-district honors, or more.
They are: Shelby Webster, Haile Farris, Fayth Rakes, Emma Uthe, Sidney Jones and Haley Wheat.
Webster (IF), Farris (pitcher) and Uthe (OF) were all-state. Fayth Rakes (catcher) was all-region.
Farris set a school record with 257 strikeouts. Webster also set a school record with 15 homers.
Their departures leave a big production hole, but new names are ready to take over.
“We were fortunate enough to have a few move-ins that brought with them varsity experience at key positions and we have a strong group of freshmen coming up,” Dinsdale said.
Three juniors are set to have more prominent varsity roles: Katy Pitts (IF), Sadie Stockman and Skylar Sederwall.
“Katy has a really good bat and will fit well in the middle of our lineup,” Dinsdale said. “Sadie’s very good defensively and hits well. Skylar is very knowledgeable about the game and has been working hard over the summer to improve.”
Adelyn Enos should take over as Camdenton’s starting catcher. She’ll also serve as a team captain.
“She’s put in a lot of work this offseason and it really shows,” Dinsdale said. “Her hard work is most evident with the fact that she’ll be one of our captains this year, as a sophomore.”
Camdenton will add three move-ins who could be immediate contributors.
Senior Shae Little comes to the lake area from Oklahoma. She’ll play the outfield and provide a powerful bat to Camdenton’s lineup, Dinsdale said.
Sophomore Brandi Sloan will boost the Lakers’ pitching staff.
“She brings varsity experience from her previous school and has been working hard this summer on her mechanics,” Dinsdale said.
Gracie Coffelt, a sophomore and the third move-in, will play pitcher and utility roles.
Ryah Moore is a player to watch among Camdenton’s freshmen class.
“She pitched a little this summer for her travel ball team and has also been working on developing a few new pitches,” Dinsdale said.
Camdenton starts the regular season August 30-31 at the Buffalo Lady Bison Invitational.