“We lost five out of our nine starters. While we had some solid bench players last year and we brought some girls up from the JV, these girls are good, but they’re just unproven,” Reed softball coach Jon Wunder said. “The girls who return are solid. Now it’s just a matter of getting the right combination between the returners and the new kids around them to form a solid nucleus there.”
Reed does return a co-Northern Region Player of the Year in senior outfielder Mary Dettling. Dettling was near perfect in the outfield, while leading the team in batting average (.491), RBI (34), doubles (10), triples (2), home runs (3), walks (19), on-base percentage (.564) and slugging percentage (.696). Dettling’s 55 hits and 39 runs were second most on the team.
Wunder had been planning to use Dettling in the No. 3 spot in the batting order, but after freshman Mackenzie Goins went 4-for-6 with a couple doubles in Saturday’s scrimmages, Wunder might be able to shuffle Dettling around.
Teams can’t pitch around the leadoff batter, so Wunder can envision a batting order with Dettling at the top followed by Mariah Levesque, Goins and Danaya Thompson.
But it isn’t the hitting Wunder is worried about after last Saturday’s scrimmages.
“There’s no doubt we have some hitters returning. I’m pretty confident in our offense as well as our pitching,” Wunder said. “Defensively, we just need more practice. We’ve only had three days of practice and we went out there Saturday (for scrimmages) and it showed. We kicked the ball around a little bit. Once we can get a week or so of practice under our belt and get the girls comfortable playing with each other, that will take care of itself.”
Reed looks good in the circle, returning co-Pitcher of the Year Jackie Sertic and junior Megan Dettling.
As a sophomore, Sertic finished with a 12-3 record and three saves. Her ERA was a paltry 1.51, and she struck out 109 hitters in 111.1 innings, while walking 23 and giving up 110 hits. She also went the distance nine times.
Reed also gets back one of its starters from two seasons ago. Tyler Sumpter started as a freshman, but missed last year due to a basketball injury.
Wunder hopes she can bring leadership from her experience on the hardwood.
“She brings another form of leadership to the team, even though she’s relatively quiet,” Wunder said. “She’s played at the highest level even if it was basketball. It helps translate over to the softball field. She doesn’t look like she’s missed a beat.”
The Raiders will hit the road for a tournament in Sacramento. Reed takes on Placer, Calif. at 6:45 p.m. today, Roseville at 3:15 p.m. Friday and El Camino right after at 5 p.m.
Wunder expects good leadership from his players and for that to carry the Raiders throughout the spring campaign.
“The team chemistry, while it’s early, appears to be good. I think we’re going to get some good leadership,” Wunder said. “We’ve got four girls on our team who have been on the varsity team since their freshman year. So far, so good. They’re really doing a good job demonstrating those leadership qualities.”