Tuscola softball ran the table last spring in the regular season, won a regional and ended the year with a 23-1 record overall leaning on a strong defense and all state pitch Kaitlyn Reifsteck. The black and gold waved goodbye to five seniors in all and after the departure of the strong class the direction of the program was leaning towards a more offensive structure. They return five of their top six in the order from a year ago, two big bats that were in and out of the lineup during the season and gain a power-hitting freshman in Ava Boyer.
All that changed in the last few months as a pair of injuries have the Warriors looking at realignment. All Conference second baseman and three hitter Taylor Musgrave suffered a setback in the last week of the basketball season while catcher Marley Good and a strong bat in the lineup started battling a foot injury in late January. Both could be back for a late season run but for now the ladies in black and gold are looking to fill the voids.
Kerri Pierce and Isabelle Wilcox will combine to fill the gap left by the innings Reifsteck ate up on the hill. The duo compliment each other as Pierce is a location and speed change pitcher while Wilcox is a power pitcher attacking the strike zone that can be effectively wild at times. Makenna Fiscus, Zoey Thomason and Boyer all will see time behind the dish in the early going.
All CIC honoree Ella Boyer will hold down shortstop for the second straight season and will connect with her sister Ava to shore up the middle infield. Marissa Boyer and Emily Czerwonka are both battling for a spot in the infield at first base while Wilcox and Pierce will alternate at the hot corner. Claire Meyer, Addyson Ring, Hailey Downs, Thomason and Katie Gibson will all take turns in the outfield. Four freshmen Carli Ochs, Allison Pettry, Emily Veach and Taylor Gordon have all shown some promise during the first two weeks of practice and could push for time by the time May rolls around.
Offensively Ella Boyer and Wilcox were one, two in homeruns a year ago and will fill the power slots and also hit for average. Pierce is another power threat with a good eye while Thomason, Ring, Czerwonka and Ava Boyer all swing a solid bat. From the five or six hole down it could be a fluid order with numerous changes in an attempt to find the hot bats.