|Scottsbluff to lean on returning varsity|
|August 19, 2016 Jerry Purvis|
Coming off a 12-18 season last year, Scottsbluff softball coach Mike Gentry returns a team with plenty of varsity experience.
“We have nine returning players who played last season,” Gentry said. “We also have two pitchers who return with a lot of innings under their belts.”
The Bearcats lost three starters to graduation last year. Also, starter Hannah McQuistan is gone this season after her family moved to Papillion.
“We had a pretty decent defense last season and pitchers who threw a lot of strikes,” Gentry said. “For the first time in my tenure, we had more strikeouts than walks as a pitching staff.”
His goal for the 2016 season is to keep the team mentally tough.
“Last season we had a tendency to not believe in ourselves when things got tough,” Gentry said. “With more experience and a year older, we have a lot more confidence in our abilities and our team.”
That mental toughness will be important against strong teams like Gering, Chadron and Alliance.
Gentry, now in his fourth year as Scottsbluff’s coach, returns 29 players at both varsity and JV levels. Some of the top players include seniors Tiersa Darley and Alex Salazar, along with juniors Hailey Franklin, Erin Willats and Devaney Halley. Coaching staff includes Spencer Lease, Ashlynn Marino and Mikka Salazar.
“The team has spent a lot of time devoted to becoming more athletic,” Gentry said. “This should help us not only immediately, but later in the season when we hope to stay strong.”
Scottsbluff Softball Schedule
August 19-20 – Softball Invitational at Lexington, 5 p.m.
August 22 – Sterling, 4 p.m.
August 25 – Gering, 5 p.m.
August 30 – Chadron, 6 p.m.
September 6 – Alliance, 6 p.m.
September 9-10 – Invitational at Scottsbluff, 9 a.m.
September 13 – at Holyoke (Scottsbluff H.S.), 4 p.m.
September 15 – at Gering, 6:45 p.m.
September 17 – at North Platte, noon
September 20 – at Alliance, 6 p.m.
September 22 – at Ogallala (Dual), 3 p.m.
September 24 – Chase County, noon
September 27 – at Chadron, 6 p.m.
October 1 – at McCook, 10 a.m.
October 6 – TBD
October 7 – TBD
October 12-14 – NSAA at Hastings