As long as his pitchers throw strikes, Coach Aaron Wood says his team has the defense and offense to compete for a state championship, and after losing only two players from last year’s playoff team, Wood has the roster to make it happen.
“They’re as good as a nine-player team can be,” said Wood. “These girls work hard, and we’ll run and work harder than most teams we’ll play against, and I believe we’ll be the best hitting team in our division.”
Wood did express concern about the team’s lack of a solid starting pitcher, after losing last season’s dominant hurler Kate Corey. Sophomore Christina Moore is the only Wildcat with pitching experience, notching an early-season win against Long Trail School last season.
While pitching may be an early concern, sophomore catcher Sammy Cunningham-Darrah is not worried, She’s been catching for multiple pitchers in early season practices and noted some girls have been attending pitching clinics. “There’s a lot of potential among the young girls that we’re trying to shape into good players,” said Cunningham-Darrah.
The Wildcats will face stiff competition this year from Proctor, West Rutland, Poultney and division rival Leland & Gray, but Wood’s squad shares his confidence, and is dedicated to living up to his expectations, as well as their own. “We definitely want to do better than last season,” said junior Savannah Nesbitt. “We had our first playoff win ever, and I think we’ll be better. As long as we have a pitcher we’re going to be good all around.”
Nesbitt said the team’s chemistry will be key to their accomplishments. “Most of us have been playing together through middle school and are familiar with each other.”
“As teammates we work well together,” added Cunningham-Darrah. “We have no issues, and we’re pretty pumped for this year because we definitely have a lot to live up to.”
While Wood doesn’t have his defensive roster set in stone yet, roster numbers will not be a concern for Twin Valley this year. With 17 players on the roster, Wood will be able to use fresh bodies off the bench at will, and with a core group of veterans, his team is not lacking in leadership.
The Wildcats begin their season on the road Monday, April 8, at Arlington, at 4:30 pm.