Playing as one team may be the answer when the youthful Florence Township High School softball team enters the spring with questions regarding its inexperience.
Now in her sixth year as head coach for Florence, Alyssa Laird said she looks forward to this upcoming season, which she believes holds much potential for achievement as long as her players emphasize on teamwork.
“I’m excited, and I have a good outlook for them,” Laird said. “I think that if they work together and come together as a team – really rely on each other and trust each other, we can do big things.
“The comradery they have and the group that they are – they are a great group of kids. They work really well together, so that’s going to be one of our strengths,” she said.
With the Flashes having kicked off their season in a home game against Trenton Catholic Academy on April 2, Laird said the team is going to rely on several key players to come up in pivotal situations this year.
One player the coach pointed toward to step up in those clutch moments was her cleanup hitter and senior catcher, Samantha Cartier, who recorded a .448 batting average last season and drove in 23 runs.
“[Samantha] is a big team leader and my [fourth-spot] hitter,” Laird said. “She’s come up big for us in the past.”
Laird also singled out Stephanie Coble and Sierra Barrett as players who she expects will contribute this spring.
As the go-to pitcher for the Flashes last year, Coble will take charge of the mound this season while Barrett can spark the offense, from the No. 3 slot in the batting order.
A lack of experience, Laird believes, could slow down her squad.
With a shortage of upperclassmen in the lineup, Laird understands that the team’s inexperience among multiple players may come into play.
Even with a youthful squad though, the Florence coach anticipates to grow the softball program for years to come.
“We have lost a lot of [players] the last couple years, so this year we are trying to build the program back up to where it used to be,” she said. “The amount that we play – we’re very young. The amount of experience we have may come back to bite us.”