After winning the program’s first-ever regional championship last year, the Trinity Lutheran softball team is excited to kick off its 2023 campaign this spring.
Head coach Bob Tabeling said the Cougars are extremely excited to start the season, but it’s a team with a lot of question marks. Trinity lost four seniors and two juniors from last year’s roster.
The Cougars have six starters returning and eight returning players overall.
“Senior Bailey Tabeling will provide defensive and offensive leadership at shortstop and Olivia Cain will prove extremely valuable being used in a variety of infield positions this season,” Tabeling said.
One of the seniors from last year that graduated was Trinity’s ace in the circle Kamzi Gross. With Gross gone, Grace Lance, who pitched a good chunk of last season, will carry much of that burden this season.
“As far as pitching, last season was the first season I had multiple experienced pitchers and that had a positive impact on the success of our season,” Tabeling said. “Grace Lance returns this year and will carry the burden of throwing every pitch in every inning. That will test her endurance but we know she is highly competitive and is excited about the opportunity to take on that role.”
The Cougars have hopes to compete for another sectional title this spring.
Last season when Trinity won the sectional title, it was their first since the 2018 and the third in program history. The Cougars hope to go for No. 4 this year.
“We want to compete for our sectional title again this year and we believe we can be a competitive team,” Tabeling said. “Madison Keith and Dianna Munoz will need to provide consistency on both sides of the ball, and seniors Amanda Finke and Jasmine McCormick will be assigned a variety of outfield positions throughout the season. Our three freshmen will play a lot of innings and will be looked to embrace their role with this team. Maddie Adams, Marci Leinart and Rowan Sharp are coming along very quickly and making the necessary adjustments to compete at the high school level.”
Unfortunately for Trinity, the Cougars have been bit by the injury bug already. Tabeling said the team will be without Morgan Brewer to begin the season due to an injury.
Trinity will begin its season today at home against South Decatur at 5:30 p.m. The rest of this week features games at Southwestern (Hanover) on Thursday and at Jac-Cen-Del on Friday.
“Our goal will be to move players around all season to see what the best defensive lineup will be as we finish the year,” Tabeling said. “If we can keep everyone healthy with our smaller roster, we should be fun to watch and compete with every team we face.”