Nixa, Mo. (For OzarksSportsZone.com) -- Nixa Eagles softball coach Matt Walker begins his second season with holes and positions to fill as his team lost six players from last year’s squad.
“We are extremely young. We graduated five last year,” Walker said. “We also lost another who moved to Oklahoma, so we have a lot of unanswered questions and open spots right now.”
Nixa will have just two seniors, first baseman Bailey Pratt and center fielder Ashley Stark.
“I want us to improve each day in practice,” Pratt said. “We are young and rebuilding.”
“My role as a senior is to help the younger players in practice and to help them learn what is expected of them,” said Stark. “I try to lead by example.”
There are going to be battles for those many open spots. One spot that is somewhat safe is that of junior Carly Allen’s position at shortstop. She was honorable mention all-district and will help lead this young Eagles squad. Sophomores Sydney Samuel will play outfield and Makaila Leonhart will play second base. Leonhart led Nixa in RBIs last year.
Junior Monica Sexton, a transfer from Peirce City, will pitch and be a tremendous asset on the mound for the Eagles. Junior Kathy Prestwich, along with sophomores Kelsey Hess, Emily Mesicek, and Shelby Beard will be among those players vying for playing time.
“One of our goals this year is to get to the district championship, as well as winning a few more conference games,” said Walker. “With us being so young and with only two seniors and a few juniors, it’s possible we could start five sophomores. I feel like if we can be around .500 it would be a good year.”
Nixa may experience a few bumps and bruises this year, but a strong sophomore class as well as some upcoming freshmen will help build for the future.
“I believe the outlook is strong for Nixa and we will keep building on our strong tradition,” said Walker.
Nixa softball Head coach name: Matt Walker
Assistant coach name: Scott Sparkman
How many years as head coach: 5th total
Number of years at present school: 2nd Year
Coach’s current record at school: 14-11
Overall career record: 64-55 Last year’s record: 14-11 Conference record: 2-5
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