The Shawnee State University Softball Team returns 9 players from
last year's 23-11 squad. However, five of those returning
players are sophomores, and the Bears roster boasts just 2
seniors. "We have a very young team," said Shawnee State
head coach Ralph Cole. "We're young, but talented.
If we can stay away from the mental mistakes, I think we'll be
Graduation claimed three all-conference honorees
from the 2005 team. Gone are 1st Team utility player
Britney Bayless and 2nd Team selections Rhonda Sacks (pitcher)
and Kristi Barka (catcher).
The Bears turn to sophomore Katie Wade to take over behind
the plate. Wade, a converted shortstop, led the Bears in
hits (34), doubles (10), RBI (22), and runs scored (22) as a
freshman. As a result, she was named to the AMC
Tara Walker, an honorable mention All-AMC honoree returns to
the team at the conclusion of the basketball season. She
hit .346 with 15 RBI, and 3 homeruns last season.
Sophomore Ashley Keen and freshman Lori Harmon will get the
vast majority of the pitching duties this year. Keen
recorded an 11-5 record with an ERA of 2.38 in 2005.
Harmon, from Symmes Valley High School, earned All-Ohio honors
four consecutive years.
The Bears also return first baseman Ali Hull, infielder
Tammie Jo Coleman, and outfielders Ashley Adkins and Tia
Walling. Hull had 4 homeruns and 22 RBI as a freshman.
Coleman primarily played second base as a freshman, but will
move to shortstop. She can also pitch if needed. She
was 2-0 with a 2.15 ERA in two appearances last season.
Adkins and Walling, both juniors, have shown they can play great
defense, but both need to step up their offensive production.
Bench players Shawntavia Mason and Tabby Reveal will likely
see more time this year as well. Mason, a speedy utility
player, will see most of her time running the bases.
Reveal will provide back-up for Wade behind the plate.
Kendra Hull also returns to the team after a one year break.
In addition to Harmon, newcomers include infielders Jessica
Jensen (Carroll, OH), Emily Fuhrman (Lucasville, OH), Ashley
Haberthy (Ottway, OH), and Erica Nickel (Greenup, KY);
outfielders Casey Smith (Longbottom, OH) and Dominique Macioce (Blacklick,
OH); and utility player Caitlin O'Neil (Columbus, OH).
"We have a great deal of talent and athleticism," said Cole.
"But because we're so young, we really have to focus on the
little things and concentrate to avoid mistakes. We can't
afford to give teams extra at bats that can lead to a lot of
unearned runs. If we can do those things, I think we can
be in the thick of things in conference play."