The Oak Harbor High School softball team will begin a new chapter this spring as it takes the field under the guidance of a new coach, Alicia Ashburn.
While Ashburn is new to the program, she will be joined by six veterans who have all earned multiple varsity letters.
Back are seniors Cierra LeGendre, Kaitlinn Scheer, Eleanor Tucker and Miranda Wilson; junior Kayanna McLane; and sophomore Madelynn Tucker.
LeGendre and Wilson were Wesco honorable mention selections in 2018.
New to the varsity are senior Ceirra Dean, who brings speed to the outfield and bases, according to Ashburn; freshmen Kayla Crocker and Sam Scott, who earned roster spots with “their strong bats and versatility in the field”; and juniors Tamara Bennett, Madisyn Erbe, Abi Fierro, Lizzy Domenget and Rinka Tsutsumi, who all will provide “energy and experience” on the right side of the field.
The team’s strength, Ashburn said, is its positive energy.
“The girls show up every day smiling and ready to work hard and get dirty,” she said. “They help and encourage each other, and they all want to improve.”
Ashburn’s biggest concerns are the players learning a new system and the new varsity players learning to play at a higher level.
“As a new head coach with a new assistant, I’m asking the girls to do a lot of things differently than they’re used to doing,” she said. “We all have a bit of a learning curve to overcome this season.”
Ashburn’s goals for the season are for her to “help the players improve a little bit each day, develop a positive, competitive spirit, and have a lot of fun on and off the field with their teammates.”
Oak Harbor (2-18 last year) opens the season at the Everett Jamboree at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 9. South Whidbey comes to Oak Harbor at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 12.