The varsity softball team is ready to replace a haul of production that departed last year

The varsity softball team is ready to replace a haul of production that departed last year

Looking back on last year, the varsity softball program saw some major growth in talent and leadership. Led by seniors Bela Gonzalez, Kylie Halverson, and Faith Addington, the team learned a lot throughout the season and taught the underclassmen lessons for the next season. The returning players from last year’s team look to pick up a heavy but feasible task.

“The seniors from last year were very crucial to the program and the progression of this year’s team,” junior Maya Holser said. “Our leadership this year will guide us in our season and I’m confident in our leaders.”

Starting with the aces, the softball team looks to pick up from the success Faith Addington had last year. Sophomore Lacey Smith is one of the only returning pitchers and looks to be the main leader of the group. Up-and-coming players include former stud JV pitcher Lauren Halverson. Other pitchers in the rotation include Alyssa Wierenga and Jamison Strutz, who were key contributors to last year’s group.

“Our pitching will determine the type of success we have,” head coach Tracy Jenkins said. “I’m confident in the aces coming up and they all will be in the mix.”

Moving over to the plate, the team returns some big-time talent. Maya Holser, an all-region player at the infield corners, was a crucial part of last year’s team and her role has increased considerably. The Rangers also return an all-conference phenom in Alyssa Wierenga, an all-conference honorable mention in Jamison Strutz, and Lea Zainea. The Rangers gain more fresh talent at the plate with Charlotte Stephan and Eliana Amenta seizing bigger roles. 

Lastly, in the field, the team lost most of its starters to graduation. FHC looks to replenish the talent with younger and more driven players. Jamison, Lauren, Alyssa, and Lacey look to form a dominant field for Forest Hills. 

The competition for Forest Hills this season looks stout, but coach Jenkins is assured that his squad can be in the mix for a conference championship. 

“The conference runs through Byron Center with its loaded roster and D-1 commit,” coach Jenkins mentioned. “But the battle to be up there includes teams like Northview, Greenville, Lowell, and us and it will be very competitive and a real dog fight.”

The varsity softball team opens up its season against the East Kentwood Falcons on Tuesday, April 12. After their first game of the season was canceled before spring break due to weather, the girls are ready to prove how much they have improved since last year.