Willard, Mo. (For OzarksSportsZone.com) -- Confidence is running high for the Willard girls’ softball team. The 2011 district champions began practice Aug. 6 with AshLeigh Williams in her second year as head coach.
Willard’s 2011 record of 18-13 marked a significant improvement over the previous season’s win-mark of only nine games.
The district championship team roster had four seniors last year but only has one senior this season, Krystine Sechler. She brings a great depth of experience to the team.
“We have a young team, so the leadership of our one senior will be important,” said Williams. “She is a great player with all kinds of experience.”
Sechler was slated as starting pitcher, but she is recovering from surgery for a torn ACL. Instead, she will start at third base, and Miki Andrus (jr.) and Allison Davis (soph.) will pitch. Sechler and Andrus were named first team all-district last season. Sechler also earned honorable mention all-conference.
“The juniors’ goal will be to step up and provide that leadership normally offered by senior players,” said Williams.
Willard’s confidence will be tested on August 22, as it faces Reeds Spring. Reeds Spring had a record of 15-11 last year.
“Reeds Spring is a good team—back-to-back district champs. It will give us a good chance to see where we’re at and where we need to improve,” said Williams.
Williams coached at Clever High School for three years prior to Willard. She played softball for St. Louis University.
Assistant coaches are Staci Wattie and Joni Reed..
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