Spring sports preview: Oak Harbor fastpitch

A trio of seniors from the core of this year’s Oak Harbor High School fastpitch team as it hopes to erase the troubles of 2010.

The Wildcats were winless in conference play and won just one game overall last year.

Oak Harbor is led by seniors captain Abby Rankin (IF), Bailey Martinez (IF) and Hannah Dolph (12).

Other returning letter winners are juniors Emily Hunt (P/1B) and Brittany Johnson (IF) and sophomores Shawna Steele (C) and Morgan Young (OF).

Coach Jessica Weikle said key newcomers include senior Nichelle Trumbell, junior Samm Zimmerman (IF) and sophomore Amanda Pavey (Utl).

Weikle said the loss of only a few players to graduation “allows for an easy transition into the season.”

She said, “Because we are welcoming only two new players to our program, the girls know each other, believe in the program and are proud of what they represent.  We expect this unity to positively influence the outcome of our season.”

She added, “The girls are excited for the season, willing to stay late at practices, participate in two-a-day practices, and eager to improve their skills to win ball games.”

Bouncing back from a losing season, the Wildcats are “battling the stigma associated with those losses,” according to Weikle.

Oak Harbor was competitive last year, Weikle said, but lost games because of errors. This year the Wildcats hope to eliminate those miscues and, as a result, win more games.

Oak Harbor plays in a jamboree at Marysville-Pilchuck today, March 12, at 9 a.m.

The first regular season game will be a tough one as the Wildcats host defending state champion Sedro-Woolley Monday, March 14, at 4 p.m. at Hillcrest Elementary School.

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