The Swanton softball team has been working hard in the offseason and preseason to improve on last year’s 9-15 record. With 10 letter winners returning for coach Joe Nye, the pieces are in place.
The Bulldogs were 2-6 in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League (NWOAL) a season ago, and fell in the sectional final to league champion Archbold 4-1.
Leading the returnees is outfielder Deanna Herr. Herr was second team All-NWOAL as a junior last season. Catcher Haley McMahan also returns after being named honorable mention All-NWOAL.
Other returning players are shortstop Amber Torres, outfielder Haylee Pelland, Brittany Fox at third base, Cassie Kosier at second base, Haley Nelson at shortstop and outfield, infielder Kendra Keefer, Taylor Dohm at first base, and Olivia Williams at second and third base.
Nye said the team has “been working really hard on defense. Practicing different situations.” That defense should be one of their strengths this season, he added.
Another strength will be pitching and that will be handled by a trio of newcomers. Olivia Bergman, Alexis Bergman, and Alexis Sarvo will take to the circle this season for the Bulldogs.
Another newcomer to watch is catcher Kylie Ulch, according to Nye.
Swanton has a relatively large number of girls out for softball this season, meaning there will be competition for positions.
“We have 30 girls in the program and have two teams,” said Nye. “We are very proud of that as many schools are dropping their JV teams.”
The goal for the team this season is to win 15 games, according to the coach. The Bulldogs will be searching for their first winning record in league play since 1999.
Swanton opened the season against Woodward on Saturday and will host Start today.
As for the NWOAL outlook, Nye said that Archbold, Bryan and Evergreen are very strong.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010