Oak Harbor shortstop Rhylee Joseph beats an opponent to the bag in a game last year. (Photo by John Fisken)

Oak Harbor shortstop Rhylee Joseph beats an opponent to the bag in a game last year. (Photo by John Fisken)

Prep preview / Oak Harbor softball

With a core group of nine letter winners, the Oak Harbor High School softball team will make a run at a district tournament berth this spring.

Most of the returning players come from a deep junior class, led by captain Brooke Wilson, a middle infielder. She will be joined by classmates Miranda Wilson (catcher, center field), Cierra LeGendre (shortstop, pitcher), Megan Flood (left field, pitcher), Eleanor Tucker (third base, pitcher) and Kait Scheer (catcher, first base).

Senior shortstop/pitcher Rhylee Joseph also returns, as does senior outfielder Samantha Payne, who took last year off after lettering as a sophomore.

Sophomore Brooke Gilham (third base, shortstop) rounds out the group of returnees.

Coach Tashina Tosh is excited about this group’s leadership and talent: “All returners have been stepping up and helping to teach our new players how to do things and working really hard.

“All the girls work really well together and are constantly picking each other up and wanting to improve.

“We have an older group of girls who have been playing together for a few years and are amazing leaders.”

Among the newcomers, sophomore infielder Madisyn Erbe and freshmen infielders Madelynn Tucker and Madison Grimaldo are expected to be in the running for varsity playing time, according to Tosh.

The Wildcats have enough players to field a junior varsity squad this year, which is “awesome,” Tosh said.

“Having a program to start building is what the coaches have been wanting and looking forward to,” she added.

The team’s goal is to “make a run for districts,” according to Tosh. “At only one week in, these girls, both JV and varsity, are putting in the time and working hard.”

Oak Harbor (2-18 last year) will play in the Everett Jamboree Saturday, March 10, and then hosts Mariner (2-18) at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 13.

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