NEW MANCHESTER - First-year Oak Glen softball coach Morgan Martin has big plans for the Golden Bears this season.
While the Golden Bears had a losing record during the regular season, they had a late-season run of success, winning a section championship and advancing to the regional tournament and that has Martin thinking of bigger things.
"We have 22 girls out for the team and several of those girls are returning from last year's team," Martin said.
"We also have several freshmen who bring different talents and skills to the team. I know the girls who returned from last year got a little taste of success by making it to the regional tournament and they proved what can happen and what is possible.
"The girls have already set a goal of having a winning season and they want to take it further than they did last year."
The team will be led by its three returning seniors, which includes shortstop/third baseman Ashley Pryor, first baseman Emilee Phillips and second baseman/outfielder Mykelti McGaffic.
"They are our leaders and all three are terrific players," Martin said. "They are all versatile and can play different positions. We can move them around and that gives us some flexibility. We do have a bunch of leaders on this team. The older girls have been doing a good job. One of the things we are emphasizing is talking on the field. We're also focused on fixing the little things and improving as the season goes on."
Logan Andrews will be the Golden Bears' workhorse in the circle.
She got the call early in the season last year but the sophomore suffered a forearm injury and did not do a lot of pitching toward the end of the season.
She will be a big plus returning to the circle.
Sophomore Maryssa Durante and freshman Hannah Clunk also will see action on the mound.
"All three bring some different things to the table," Martin said. "They have different speeds, different pitchers and that also offers us some flexibility with what we want to do."
Several positions could be up for grabs and Martin said getting out the second week of March was helpful after being trapped inside by cold weather early.
"We still have some time for the girls to prove themselves, what they can do, before the season starts."