Carson High softball: Young Senators look to make playoffs
CARSON SOFTBALL ROSTER
Seniors: Bailey Allen (SS) and Gabriella Winder (3B-C)
Junior: Elise Brady (OF)
Sophomores: Nicole Brown (2B), Terryn Earle (OF), Nancy Henricksen (OF), Camiell Simpson (C-3B), Lauren Lemburg (P-OF).
Freshmen: Tezia Boice (2B, OF), Kassidy Cooley (1B-P), Faith Bigelow (3B, 1B), Jailene Salcedo (P-OF).
March 10-12: at Victory Preseason Tournament in Sacramento; March 17: Damonte at Carson, 3:45; March 19: Carson at Reed, 11 a.m. (DH); March 25-26: At Reed Easter Tournament at Shadow Mountain; April 2: Reno at Carson, 11 a.m. (DH); April 7: Carson at McQueen, 3:45 p.m.; April 9: Carson at North Valleys, 11 a.m. (DH); April 14: Carson at Damonte, 3:45; April 16: Hug at Carson, 11 a.m. (DH); April 21: Manogue at Carson, 3:45; April 23: Galena at Carson, 11,(DH); April 28: McQueen at Carson, 3:45; April 30: Carson at Spanish Springs, 11 (DH); May 3: Wooster at Carson, 3:45; May 5: Carson at Wooster, 3:45; May 7: Douglas at Carson, 11 (DH).
It’s hard to fathom Carson High’s softball team could get any younger than last year, but it did.
After posting just five wins last year (5-27 overall and 3-19 in league), the Senators will field a 12-person team with just two seniors, a junior, five sophomores and four freshmen. Three players who were on last year’s team chose not to come out this season.
“We got younger,” said second-year coach Shane Quilling, whose team scrimmages on Saturday with Dayton, North Valleys and Spanish Springs. “We actually had to cut 14 players (between varsity and JV) which we didn’t do last year. I think we got a pretty good evaluation. We have four good freshmen, and I think we’re going to be better this year.
“I am hoping we’ll be able to compete (better) this year. Reed, Spanish Springs, Reno, Manogue and Douglas are the top five, and after that’s it’s a crapshoot. It depends on how we grow as a team. Our goal is to make the playoffs. We’ve been down the last couple of years.”
The Senators return seven players — senior shorstop Bailey Allen (.600), senior catcher-third baseman Gabriella Winder (.283), sophomore pitcher-outfielder Lauren Lemburg (.298), sophomore catcher-third baseman Camiell Simpson (.292), junior outfielder Elise Brady (.250), sophomore outfielder Terryn Earle (.146) and sophomore second baseman Nicole Brown (.333). Nancy Henricksen is up from the JV squad. Four freshmen — Tezia Boyce, Kassidy Cooley, Jailene Salcedo and Faith Bigelow made the cut.
The Senators’ offense and defense centers around senior shortstop Allen, who hit .600 with a team-leading 39 hits and a team-best 12 RBI. Of her 39 hits, 12 were for extra bases.
“Bailey is one of the best players in the north,” Quilling said. “She was all-region last year. She is a great player to build around.”
Expect to see Allen batting anywhere in the top four spots this season.
The Senators’ biggest weakness last year was in the circle. The Senators gave up a league-high 24 homers last year. Lemburg comes in as the ace, but she’s being pushed by Salcedo, who has pitched in the Hot Shots program the last couple of years. Cooley will be the No. 3 pitcher.
“Lauren (Lemburg) battled last year, but she didn’t have the experience or velocity,” Quilling said. “Jailene is right there with Lauren. She throws a lot of pitches and has experience. I believe our pitching is going to be better.”
Simpson and Winder will splt time between catcher and third base, Brown starts at second, Allen at short and Cooley at first. Bigelow will back up at the corner spots.
“Camiell can play anywhere in the infield,” Quilling said. “We have depth at every infield spot.”
Brady starts in left, Salcedo or Lemburg are in center and Earle has been moved from first to right. Carson’s defense made 55 errors last year, a number Quilling said needs to come down drastically if the team is going to have any success.
“It’s hard to win games when you do that,” Quilling said. “Once we started making errors, we just compounded things by making another error.”
Overpowering pitchers can pitch over mistakes behind them, but Lemburg and Salcedo are control pitchers, meaning teams make contact and it’s up to the defense to make the plays.
Hitting is another area where Quilling is looking for improvement. A year ago, CHS hit .292 in league play.
Quilling has enlisted the services of Stan Smokey to pitch batting practice a couple of times a week.
“We needed to have more live pitching,” Quilling said. “Seeing live pitching always helps.”