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Partridge Back in Charge of Inexperienced Lumberjills

By Staff | Mar 23, 2016

Maggie Hornbeck

Valley softball coach Gary Partridge has one expectation of his 16 varsity players out this season: The girls must compete and give everything they have, every inning of every game. The wins and losses will take care of themselves.

After a few years not coaching, Partridge is back and ready to take the girls back where he had them before he left … winning.

The Lumberjills have four seniors, three juniors, six sophomores and three freshmen. Only a few have any varsity experience.

Partridge will start hte season like he has every year – working on the fundamentals.

With only a few players that have experience, it will take some time to put the girls where they can be successful.

MaKayla Mellott

Partridge will need to find someone that can throw the ball over the plate for strikes, and work the players defensively.

Besides throwing the ball for strikes, Partridge will need a good catcher to keep the other team from moving around the bases, and he will be working really hard in finding the right two girls for the job.

“I need at least two for the job. When we have a double-header, I don’t like the catcher that catches the first game to have to do it again. That’s just too much on them,” Partridge said.

“By mid-season, I hope to see great improvement. I have already have in just two weeks. All the girls are working hard, and we will get better every day.”

Valley only lost one player to graduation, in Megan Martin. The team does not have an assistant coach at this time.

Steshka Shrum

Players on the squad are seniors Grace Berry, Maggie Hornbeck, McKayla Mellott and Steshka Strum; juniors Amanda Sharpe, Gracie Hayes and Nicole McGee; sophomores,Alex Bassett, Christine Williams, Rikki Busch, Samantha Duke, Tessa Dudgeon and Brooklyn McCaslin, and freshmen Emma Ueltschy, Megan Brown and Breanna Greathouse.

The Lumberjills will open the season on the road at 5 p.m. today against Cameron. The Lumberjills’ home-opener will be against Paden City on March 28, 4 p.m.