The Silver Bay softball team has barely begun practice, but the team has enough offensive production and defensive prowess to make the Mariners a contender for the Section 7A crown in 2018.
The Mariners lost their top hitter from a season ago in Brooke McMillen, but they return enough hitting and run production to more than make up for the loss. Senior Cora Carter batted .415 last season, with three home runs and 37 RBIs to lead the Mariners. Junior Jessie Ketola added 30 RBIs to the Mariners' high-octane attack. Senior Jocelyn Russell will again lead off for Silver Bay after a .400 batting average last season with 31 runs scored and 15 stolen bases.
Most of the Mariner pitching duties will again fall to Cora Carter, who had 12 wins, a 3.05 ERA and 72 strikeouts a year ago. Everly Bauck was the top defensive player for Silver Bay last year and will take most of the catching duties and fill in for Carter.
Ketola will return to her defensive position at third base and senior Laurese McKinney and sophomore Callie Klemmer will split time at first base. Klemmer was the Mariner rookie of the year last season and expectations will be high for her this season.
The field in Silver Bay is still covered by several inches of snow, but once the thaw finishes and coach Mike Guzzo has the field ready for play, the wins could come fast and furious for a Mariner squad with enough firepower to compete with any team in the area.