ROSCOMMON – Despite an even split of veterans and newcomers to the varsity, Roscommon girls softball coach Lee Wyckoff expects the Bucks to hold their own in the Jack Pine Conference, as well as the tournaments they have scheduled.
The Bucks posted just five wins last year but have higher expectations this season with five veterans coming back, which includes seniors Emily Barnhart, Kelsey Kohn and Madison Baerlocher.
Although he only has 10 girls on the varsity, there are 14 on the junior varsity for a total of 24 in the program overall and Wyckoff is looking forward to having an even more experienced team next spring.
Juniors are the squad are Taylor Hubbard and Jessica Hollister, with the rest of the squad comprised of sophomores Anna Ericson, Karlee Erickson, Abby Holm, Emily Terry and Skye Ritchings. Anna Ericson pitched last year, and Hubbard is returning as well after playing varsity ball as a freshman.
Barnhart and Kohn formed the Bucks’ battery last season, with Kohn behind the plate as the starting catcher. Baerlocher started in the outfield, while Hubbard held down the shortstop position.
Wyckoff brought up the sophomores at the end of last season, both to compete in some tournaments and add depth for the districts. The coach says that they are all looking good in practice.
“Last year we struggled to play good defense,” Wyckoff said. “This year, we look to improve and reduce the number of errors significantly. We should hit better than what we did in the past.
“Some of the girls have been putting time in the batting cage since January. We have one of the tougher conferences around, and we should do okay. We’re going to surprise some teams in the conference.”
The district field includes McBain, Lake City, Grayling and Houghton Lake as well as the Bucks and Wyckoff feels they have a good chance as long as they play good defense and put up some runs.