For several years, Troy Buchanan softball has suffered from an embarrassment of riches.
Last season was no different, the Trojans rolled to a 25-5 record before ending its season with a loss to Holt in the district championship game.
“We definitely put in the time,” said coach Lance Richardson, who enters his 13th season at Troy. “Our girls put in the effort, and so did the coaches.
“Anytime a season ends that way, it’s always heartbreaking.”
The 2020 incarnation of the Trojans is expected to be a factor in the district title picture once again because of their ability to reload, instead of rebuild, every year.
“We’ve been blessed and lucky to have had so many great players every year,” Richardson said. “It’s hard to read how good we’re going to be this year because we have so many new faces in new places.
“The core of our offense is still here though, so well be okay scoring runs.”
Richardson will be relying on his four seniors for offense and leadership, including his entire starting outfield consisting of centerfielder Natalie Sullivan, left fielder Bella Wilson and right fielder McKenna DeClue.
Senior third baseman Morgan Shields rounds out the foursome leading the Trojans.
“They bring a lot of offense for us, especially over the last couple of years,” Richardson said.
From the circle, Troy is much younger. The squad lost both of their star pitchers, Ali Cook and Makayla Bryant, to graduation, so the Trojans will have to turn to a group of freshmen and sophomores to hold opponents off the scoreboard to give their offense a chance to win games.
“Our pitchers are young,” Richardson said. “We’re going to have our ups and downs, but we’ll be okay.”
Despite youth at key positions, Richardson is confident his team can make another deep postseason run in 2020.
“With what we have, I feel we can still compete for a district championship – and a conference championship,” he said. “It’s not going to be easy, but I still think we’re good enough to do those things.”