Seniors Kaycie Shearer, Ashley Vogts and Janie Flynn will, along with letter-winners Kaitlyn Bressie, Kali Tector and Brianna Scott, provide veteran leadership to a squad that runs 15 deep.
On the infield, Shearer will start at shortstop and Bressie will move from third base to the mound.
?We lost our starting pitcher to graduation, and we?ll need Kaitlyn to handle that load,? Fritz said. ?Softball is all about pitching. I?ve got seniors in the infield, one in the outfield, but you have to have good pitching.?
?If Bressie can do a good job for us, we?ll be alright,? he said.
Scott will play third base and Flynn is at first base in Fritz?s infield alignment.
Freshmen Kimmie Voth and Kara Paramore begin the season with starting jobs. Voth will step in at second and Paramore is the team?s primary catcher.
In the outfield, Vogts will play center, with Tector in left and Sabrina Brown, a junior, in right.
?I know the infield is going to be good, but I?m not as sure about the outfield,? Fritz said. ?We?ve got a sophomore and a junior out there that haven?t played a lot. They?ve got the ability to do well, and it?s early yet. We?re going to find out right away what we have.?
Fritz?s bench goes at least three deep, with Kris Larson, Taryn Nelson and Audrey Colson all expected to contribute when called upon.
Fritz said runs may be hard to come by, apart from the offense he expects from the six returners.
?They?ll have to do our run-scoring for us,? he said. ?But our batting is probably the strongest part of our team. We?ve got some good hitters who will put the ball in play.?
Fritz noted that Inman stands out among the group of usual suspects at the top of the league, along with Moundridge.
?We play Inman in two doubleheaders?the opener and again at the end of the season?so we play some of the best competition in the state in Class 2A,? he said, adding that Inman and Moundridge were not hit as hard by graduation.
Despite the stiff competition, Fritz has high hopes for the coming season.
?I think we?ll be able to compete with everybody else,? he said. ?It?ll probably be between us and Hutch Trinity for third place.?
The schedule opens with Inman coming to Canton for a 4 p.m. start April 1.