The Canton-Galva softball team will rely on a strong outfield and a number of returning players to lead them this season.
Under the direction of Dale Dvorak, who is entering his second year as coach, the Eagles hope to build on last year’s 15-7 record.
Five returning starters will anchor this year’s team, led by second-team Heart of America all-league selection Erika Smith, who will provide the foundation in the outfield.
Other returning starters are Hannah O’Neil (pitcher/shortstop), Leah Schmitz (outfield), Lauren Ballantyne (infield) and Jennifer Likes (outfield).
Dvorak will also look to these newcomers to contribute: Mikayla Baldwin, Sierah Pennington, Selena Lacey and Brittany Dieker.
Dvorak said the strength of his team lies in the outfield, but the Eagles may face some challenges in the infield.
“Infield is where we will be weak and working in a pair of corners that have no varsity experience,” he said.
As for pitchers, Dvorak said: “Pitching is a question, but Hannah O’Neil did pitch some last year and will be depended upon to throw a lot of innings.”
The Eagles are scheduled to open their season with a home doubleheader against Ell-Saline Thursday.