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Softball team showing steady improvement


By Christopher Johnson – Kalihwisaks

As the Lady Thunderhawks softball team moves through their 2016 campaign, Head Coach Muriel King knows she has her work cut out for her if she wants the team to make a hard competitive push as they roll through the second half of the season. Though the team is currently 0-6, there are plenty of reasons to remain optimistic about the future, King said. “We are a very young team,” King said. “But we have a lot of very athletic girls on this team. All they need to do is keep playing and practicing.”

The Lady T-Hawks, who began play in the Marinette and Oconto (M & O) Conference this year, currently have one senior and one junior on the squad. The rest of the team consists of a few sophomores, several freshman, and even a few 8th-graders. “Our senior and freshmen players are actually pretty experienced,” King said. “They play on other teams as well, so they bring some skill sets as well which is good.”

King is noticing a steady improvement in her player’s performances as her inaugural head coaching season progresses. “They are definitely getting better,” King said. “For example, one of our team captains, shortstop Tiara Barber, is in her first year playing and she’s already developed her throwing skills. It’s incredible.”

“I’m proud of myself,” Barber, a freshman utility infielder, said. “I started out at second base and moved to shortstop. And then getting to pitch made me very happy. I enjoy being a team captain and I will hopefully get to keep my spot and be able to get some more girls to come out and join the team.”

“I’ve played shortstop and pitcher as well,” Freshman Mercedes Ackley said. “Everybody’s been making a lot of progress together and working with each other very well.”

“The girls are really starting to play well together,” Assistant Coach Kelly Schoen said. “They’ve always had great attitudes but their playing abilities and athletic tendencies are really starting to come out and show themselves so it’s really neat. They look like a team out there and it’s nice to see that as a coach. And they’re noticing the changes as well.”

With the end of the season fast approaching, King has held on to some very manageable goals for the year. “I just want them to have fun and start making memories. I want to build on this program and have more girls come out for the team. I know there are at least three more girls that want to join.

“I want to thank the parents that always get their girls to practice on time and come to support us at our games. I think that support is what a lot of these girls need.”