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Lady Wolves ready for big hits

April 13, 2011 - Returning Lady Hitters still remember how the season ended last year in a tragic tie-breaker keeping them from the district title.

"We definitely expected to make it further," said Kelly Martin, assistant coach for the Clarkston Girls Varsity Softball team. "I expect us to make it further this year."

The beginning of the this season has already been tough with cold and wetness but the girls are ready to drive past it as they head into their first game and tournament this week.

"We have a nice team," said Don Peters, head coach. "Hopefully we stay healthy because we have a small squad this year. We lost two really good ballplayerrs. When you lose Taylor Hasselbach, a Louisville Slugger and All-American Miss Softball, it should be interesting.

"There were significant changes in the chemistry of our team," he continued. "We could, by the end of the season, be a very good softball team if the pieces fall together."

The team has eight returners and four new players to file up their line-up.

Pitchers include senior Sarah Altene and junior Megan Hastings. Rounding out the pitching is senior Rachel Pytel, sophomore Brenna Cooper and freshman Samantha Hoeksema.

"We have five pitchers which is unheard of," said Peters. "Our strength is with our pitching. We will go with the veterans first, Sarah and Megan. There could be a battle for pitching."

Hitters ready to score include senior Liz Zezula, a returning Honorable Mention All-Stater from last season and hit a 400.

"It is a huge plus," said Peters. "Plus we have Shauna Siwicki, she is a key and we will see her really blossom. We are hoping Sarah can regain her firm. She hit awesome as a sophomore."

Also back for the season are players senior Allie Reeves, junior Tara Perry and sophomore Sydney Hasselbach. Joining them are new players freshman Rachel Alli and sophomores Alyssa Armstrong and Brenna Cooper.

"We have a lot of talent," said Martin.

"The cool thing is they are smart kids, too," said Peters referring to his three seniors already signed on to college next year. Zezula is going to Tiffin University; Reeves, Macomb Community College; and Altene, Milwaukee School of Engineering.

"I feel very privileged to coach them," he added. "They are a great bunch of kids."

Along with going further in finals is the aim at taking over the league.

"Every year it's different," said Peters. "It is hard to tell who will win. The power houses, Troy and us lost key players. I think it will be the traditional powers - Troy, Lake Orion and us. It is a wait and see."

He added Farmington is a contender as well because their pitcher from last year is back and was good last season.

The girls play their first game on Wednesday, against Rochester.. They head to Clinton for a tournament to battle tough competition.

"They were runner-up in Division 3 last year and Saline finished in the quarterfinals," said Peters. "They are very good. Almost everything we schedule is tought. I want to see this group grow and it is the only way they can - you put them in tough situations."

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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