WEIRTON - Weir softball coach Dave Hinerman knows his team is young and it might start slow. He lost five seniors from last season, one got hurt in basketball and another wanted to focus more on academics.
Needless to say his team will be a little inexperienced.
"All we expect of these girls is to give us their all," Hinerman said. "We are young in playing time but we want to get better each time out. Hopefully we can get into the OVAC Tournament and we have Madonna in the city championship.
"We feel we can be competitive. We are going to make mistakes, we may not be the best team, but we won't lose because we threw in the towel."
Hinerman, who has been coaching the Red Riders off and on for the past 10 years, believes in his hitting.
Senior Ashlyn Drizake, who plays shortstop, is someone Hinerman is very high on.
She leads a contingent of five seniors that also includes second baseman Kelly LeMasters, third baseman Gillian Karavanick, left fielder Morgan Rice and center fielder Marley Harris.
Samantha Tate will play catcher and be backed up Emily Thermes.
Liz Gillette will man first base. Brianna Rosnick will join Rice and Harris in the outfield.
Freshman Gianni Bebecchis will back up LeMasters at second base, while Katie Bennett can play everywhere and Juliann Grimm will see some time in the outfield.
"We have some speed in Marley Harris and Drizake," Hinerman said. "We expect Sam Tate to have a good year. Drizake, her senior leadership, is going to be important."
Hinerman expects the Red Riders to be a good hitting team. He just hopes the defense can play well enough to win.
In softball, defense starts in the circle where the Red Riders will be breaking in two new pitchers in junior Abby Pratt and freshman Mariah Stevens.
Joining Hinerman is veteran assistant Sam Niesslein, along with Jennifer Cooper and Jordan Wells.