Spring preview: Oak Harbor High School fastpitch

The Oak Harbor fastpitch team is looking to its seniors for leadership to help make them a competitive team in the Wesco North.

Coach Jessica Weikle said, “The leadership from our seniors is surpassing all expectations and allowing for an easy transition from open gyms to the beginning of the season as we begin our first non-league competitions. 

“The attitude and work ethic of this group of girls is one that allows the coaches and me to expect a better winning record than last season, better skill level than last year, and an atmosphere of leadership and team camaraderie that will undoubtedly carry us through a steady climb to the end of the season.”

That senior leadership is coming from returning letter winners Emily Meagher, Aria Araceley and Whitney Osborn.

Meagher and Araceley are co-captains and will play together in the starting outfield; Meagher manning left and Araceley center.

Osborn is one of the club’s pitchers.

Junior infielders Abby Rankin and Bailey Martinez are the other returning letter winners.

Weikle said the group of key newcomers includes several freshmen who may earn starting spots.

Morgan Young could be the starting right fielder and Shawna Steele the starting catcher. Adrea Thomas is battling for an infield spot.

Other key newcomers include junior outfielders Shelby Kirk and Hannah Dolph and sophomore middle infielder Marissa Fakkema.

Weikle said the team’s goals are to be “competitive within our league, win more games than we did last year and to end our season happily.”

The Wildcats, who were 5-14 last year, start the season with trips to Burlington-Edison Monday and Sehome Wednesday. The first home contest will be Friday, March 19, with Squalicum at 4 p.m. at Hillcrest Elementary.

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