The Canton-Galva softball team will look to experienced returners and new talent to seek success this season.
“We have three goals: our first job is to win our league,” said coach Barry Fritz, who is in his seventh year at the helm.“We want to win our league, and then we would like to take the next step and win regionals, and then we’d like to win at least one game for state.”
Fritz said they have increased depth and talent this year, which will hopefully help bring them success.
“We have 18 girls out,” Fritz said. “This is the most we’ve had since I’ve been here and they’re all pretty good softball players. We have pretty good competition for every position.”
He said after coaching state-level talent for several years at Sacred Heart, he’s starting to see that degree of talent at CGHS.
“The level of talent we have at Canton-Galva is getting up there,” Fritz said.
The Eagles hope to use strong hitting and improved infield defense to find success.
“Right now we’ve been working on defense and hitting,” Fritz said. “I believe our strength is our hitting.”
The Eagles struggled last year with their infield defense, due to the youth of the players in those positions. But Fritz said that experience may help them now.
“We’ve come a long way,” he said. “What was a weakness last year could be a strength this year.”
Allison Bressie will be the Eagles’ main pitcher, but Fritz said freshmen Erika Smith and Angel Howard might be able to contribute once their control improves.
“(Bressie) will probably take the brunt of the load, and as these other girls develop we’ll give them some opportunities to throw,” Fritz said. “She’s got very good control and she’s got some velocity. That’s what’s key, she doesn’t walk very many. She throws enough strikes that the fielders are ready.”
Thanks to the league reorganization, the Eagles will face three more Class 3A schools than last year.
“We have a tough schedule,” Fritz said. “We have to make sure we take care of our schedule early on and win ball games so we can get some confidence.
“Hopefully, we can get some wins early and that can carry us through the season.”