The Peninsula Seahawks rode the arm of star pitcher Aspen Ison all the way to the Class 3A state tournament last year, although they were eliminated in three games.
Ison graduated in June, and the Seahawks are in rebuilding mode.
Fifth-year head coach Melissa Miller said the primary focus for her young team is to be competitive.
“We’ll win some, we’ll lose some, but the main thing is that we don’t lay down,” Miller said. “I want us to be competitive.”
Miller hopes the Seahawks’ defense and fundamentals will provide a solid base on which to build.
“We want to compete, we want to have fun, we want to build,” she said. “It’s a building year for us. We’re hoping to sub a lot and get everyone playing time and get ready for next year.”
Peninsula has just three seniors on its 14-player squad. One of them, Alaina Morgan, a catcher last season, was an integral piece of its success.
Morgan will play both first and third base this spring. She said her main focus is to stay healthy, since injuries have plagued her career.
As a team, winning is important, but it’s not everything, she said.
“We’re trying to have a winning season,” Morgan said. “We’re trying to compete in every game, not necessarily win every game, but to have a good showing and just have fun.”
The Seahawks also boast some speed around the bases, highlighted by junior outfielder Megan Ross, who said she wants to be a positive leader.
“Just being the overall best that I can be (is my goal),” Ross said. “Just being positive, being a leader, uplifting everyone. It’s more about having fun. Winning is important, but I’d rather have fun than win.”
Ross said the team will have to be fundamentally sound to have success.
“We were riding on Aspen last year to carry us in the circle for the wins,” Ross said. “This year, we don’t have her, so we’re going to have to be strong in the outfield, infield, everywhere. We’re going to get a lot of experience getting balls hit to us. It should be a good year.”
Morgan said the team’s strength lies in its ability to adapt.
“Our girls are versatile,” she said. “We have more than one position, and everyone can play different spots. They rotate in and out as we want.”
March 18Steilacoom3:30 p.m.
March 20Auburn Mountainview4 p.m.
March 21South Kitsap4 p.m.
March 24Bonney Lake4 p.m.
March 27at Enumclaw4 p.m.
April 1Lakes1 p.m.
April 3at Decatur4 p.m.
April 8at Auburn Mountainview4 p.m.
April 10at Bonney Lake4 p.m.
April 15Enumclaw4 p.m.
April 17at Lakes4 p.m.
April 22Decatur4 p.m.
April 24Auburn Mountainview4 p.m.
April 29Bonney Lake4 p.m.
May 1at Enumclaw4 p.m.
May 6Lakes4 p.m.
May 8at Decatur4 p.m.
May 12Gig Harbor4 p.m.