WELLSBURG - The Brooke Bruins lost a bunch of hitting from last season's 12-19 team, but they do bring back both pitchers who combined to win all 12 of those games.
In high school softball, that can't be a bad thing.
Lost to graduation were Shannon Reardon, a longtime fixture behind the plate for the Bruins, outfielders Jessica Kennedy and Katie O'Connell, and infielders Courtney Rine and Kelsey Welsh.
"We lost several seniors from last year who were long-time position players that we will be looking to replace," said fourth-year coach Mike Wagner, who owns a 37-48 record as the Bruins' skipper.
"While we have many returning players with varsity experience, there are also several new faces in the program this year. We are excited about the potential of this group. The coaches and players continue to prepare, and are looking forward to the upcoming season."
Those hoping to make noise for Wagner's club this year are seniors Marena Cline (infield), and Samantha Cusick, a third baseman/outfielder who hit .382 a season ago. The juniors are pitcher Kaylee Kuchinski, who won seven of those games, outfielder Michaela Hinerman, who batted .432, pitcher/second baseman Kristin Reardon, who won the other five games, third baseman outfielder Abbie Carpenter, a first-year player, and Brenna Smith, an outfielder who toiled in the jayvee ranks a season ago.
Isabella Preston is a versatile sophomore, who, too played junior varsity last season, while a group of freshmen have caught the eyes of the Bruins coaching staff in Brette Geary (catcher, shortstop), Taylor Simala (third baseman/outfielder), pitcher Katie Castellucci, outfielder Sabrinna Duffy, and infielder Kelly Schambach.
"We still have numerous decisions to make regarding the varsity roster, as competition continues at several positions," Wagner said earlier in March.
Assistant coaches at Brooke are Amy Bennett, Monica Gray, Stephanie Silver, John Reardon, and Glenn Kocher.