Youth movement at Carson High
How well Carson High’s softball team plays this year hinges on how well its four sophomores, one freshman and six sophomores mature during the course of the season.
This is undoubtedly the youngest team coach Scott Vickrey has fielded in recent memory, and he knows that experience can be important, especially in close games. This team will have to grow up in a hurry.
“It will be an exciting year,” said Vickrey, whose team plays in the Sacramento Tournament this weekend. “We have a lot of players who can play multiple positions which is always good. We’ve got some nice kids this year.”
The Senators do return three seniors – third baseman/pitcher Daria Leid, catcher Megan Hein and first baseman/pitcher/designated hitter Natalie Morrow, all of whom are expected to play major roles this season.
Leid hit .514 a year ago with four homers and 25 RBIs, Hein hit .293 with 12 RBIs and Morrow hit .163 with six RBIs. Leid, who will be the team’s No. 1 pitcher, was 5-2 with a 1.73 ERA last season.
“Daria will be the workhorse (pitcher) right now until somebody takes it away from her,” Vickrey said. “Her change-up is working well and she likes her rise ball.
“We aren’t going to rely just on Daria. We have to be able to rely on everybody.”
Morrow struggled last year in the circle. Christina Gallegos and Lindsay Ashbaugh also can throw. Gallegos relies on pinpoint control, while Ashbaugh has pretty good velocity.
Hein will start behind the plate, but returnee Kristin Withrow, who hit .281 with six RBIs also can play there. Hein is a solid receiver of the ball, and Vickrey hopes she will hit for a higher average this year.
Morrow, South Tahoe transfer Moriah Lane and Lisa Yamamoto are vying for time at first base. Vickrey said Lane dented the scoreboard during a recent batting practice. Yamamoto is up from the JV team.
Junior Lauren Knorzer has been moved to second base this year in an effort to get her big bat (.449, 2 HR, 14 RBI) in the lineup on a regular basis. Knorzer, who has played some first base previously, finished strong last season.
Marissa Lucido, who hit .333 in limited action, and sophomore Emily Collins are battling at shortstop.
“It will be interesting to see what happens there,” Vickrey said. “Lucido’s hitting is coming on.”
Leid will play third when she doesn’t pitch, which means that Ashbaugh, who hit .226 with three RBIs last year, will see some time there.
Freshman Jocelyn Young, Mariah Hartley, Morgan Kleine, Withrow and Ashbaugh will all see time in the outfield.