Former assistant Kara Dressel has taken over as head coach for the Gig Harbor Tides, who reached the West Central/Southwest bi-district tournament a season ago.
“I knew all the girls, and I had been coaching individually here for a long time,” Dressel said. “I wanted to stick with them and take the program a little bit further.”
The Tides, who finished fourth in the Class 4A Narrows League last season, want to contend for the league title. Gig Harbor is especially looking forward to its matchups with Bellarmine Prep, which eliminated the Tides last season.
Gig Harbor lost steady pitcher Anna Hitt to graduation but has retained several key pieces and added some promising newcomers like sophomore Marin Malich and freshman Jordan Adams, Dressel said.
Malich and Adams will be the Tides’ two-two punch in the circle, Dressel said.
The team also lost Corrine Luke, who provided some pop in the lineup, but Dressel thinks they can replace Luke’s production.
“I think we have a freshman coming in that has a little bit more speed, and we also have one of our sophomores that steps up that can hit the ball,” Dressel said. “I think we have some bats that came in that will fill those spots.”
Senior pitcher and utility infielder Sydney Prigge said the pieces are in place to have a good season.
“I think we’re better rounded this year,” Prigge said. “We’ve got stronger batting, better fielding, defense.
“It’s all kind of coming together,” she said. “You can just see it. We’re meshing well.”
The team has its eye on a state-tournament berth that alluded them a season ago.
Senior captain and catcher Gracen Malich said success will have to start earlier than that.
“To step down, we want to win districts or league,” she said. “Go further than we did last year.”
Gracen Malich, who batted .395 a season ago, said the team has put in the work to take the next step.
“I want to be in the .400s this year,” she said. “I’ve been working hard on that. We’ve had tons of practice, we set up tons of nets every day.”
Dressel said she sees a lot of positives in her team.
“I think we have a little bit more depth in our outfield, and we have more depth in our lineup,” she said. “We have about six girls who could potentially hit the ball out of the park. We did gain some speed with one of our freshmen and our sophomores.
“Just get our speed on, get that long ball through, score some runs,” Dressel said. “Really have another pitcher that’s just a little bit stronger, so we have the one-two punch that I don’t think a lot of teams will have.”
gig harbor fastpitch
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April 1Bellarmine Prep4:45 p.m.
April 2at Wilson4 p.m.
April 4at Olympia4 p.m.
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April 25at Yelm4 p.m.
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May 5at South Kitsap4 p.m.
May 7at Central Kitsap4 p.m.
May 5at Peninsula4 p.m.Sports reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.