Though the Brownwood Lady Lions’ run of softball district championships ended last season, the program did extend its string of postseason appearances to nine. A new head coach, and a youth-filled roster, will be tasked with pushing the playoff streak to double digits as softball season has officially arrived.
The Lady Lions are scheduled to open the season, weather permitting, at Bangs at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Seven members of last year’s squad — Alyson Finnigan, Alley Jowers, Katherine Walker, Shelbi Winstead, Kristen Fuentes, Tori Burkett and Ashley Gomez — return, but a few won’t be suiting up until the Lady Lions basketball playoff run concludes.
So first-year head coach Jessica Lynn will be relying on even more youth than expected through the early portion of the season.
“Before we started I didn’t know what to expect,” Lynn said. “There’s not a lot of upperclassmen so it’s going to be a young team. After seeing them, we have some pretty good young ones. Once they get settled in, we could be a pretty good team. I feel like we’re going to be competitive but we’ll have some little bumps. It will be up to how the younger players handle the pressure. I think we can be good this year and good for a long time because we have so much youth on this team.”
Lynn stated the strength of the 2014 Lady Lions will likely be on defense, while the offense is a work in progress.
“We’re pretty solid defensively. A couple of the freshmen are pretty good and I was pleasantly surprised,” Lynn said. “Hitting is where they need work, and the girls said that themselves. We’ve been really focusing on that and it’s already improving.”
Looking ahead to district, Lynn sees Liberty Hill and Gatesville as the teams to beat in District 8-3A.
“I know Liberty Hill won it last year and had a good pitcher and Gatesville got second, but I’ve heard more about Liberty Hill,” Lynn said. “I think those will be the two toughest teams, but you never know who has new players.”