Lady Wildcats softball to forge new identity
The Cassville Lady Wildcats softball were a deadly force at the plate last year.
Cassville was led by seniors Emily Speakman, Taylor Wolf, Paighton Brock, Kelsey Baker and Skylar Branham.
The team hit over .300 and five players finished the season with an average above .330.
As good as the offense was, the Lady Wildcats defense had its own trouble. The Lady Wildcats allowed opponents almost 6 runs per game.
With only two returning starters in Callie Meek and Raeghan Blisard the Black and Gold is looking to get back to the basics.
"Last year was an exciting season loaded with a senior class that were excellent competitors night after night," he said. "All in all I feel it was a successful season. Now we have a challenge ahead of us to fill so many positions to graduation."
Blisard, a junior, was as All-Conference, All-District and All-Region player each of her first last season. She hit .400and was Cassville's lead-off batter.
Meek hit .390 last year and anchored third base.
Also returning are lettermen Alesha Cousins Andrea Cousins, Jayce Fink, Jade Holloway and Brooke Fields.
The Lady Wildcats welcome a large freshman class to the program this year and the future is looking bright.
"This summer was spent with all the girls playing on travel teams and our Ozark Summer League," said Abramovitz. "It was a learning summer due to the amount of positions we have to fill and letting the younger players get acclimated to the high school level. I will say that we concluded the summer feeling considerably more confident in our abilities for the future."
In addition to finding a starting pitcher and three infielders, the Lady Cats face a challenging schedule. State quarterfinalist Monett waits in Big 8 and district play. Reeds Spring, Nixa and Willard give Cassville some solid COC competition.
"The toughest portion of our schedule occurs early," said Abramovitz. "We play all of our conference games up front and the Big 8 conference is nails from top to bottom. We have to be a well oiled machine in week number 1 in order to compete within the conference chase."
Cassville opens the season on Sept. 3 at home with Lamar. First Pitch is set for 5 p.m.