High School Sports

High School Softball: Penns Valley preview

Coach: Don Lucas, 13th season

Assistants: Kim Kunes, Jay Lynch, Dave Keller, Dave Evans, Jeff Wiest, Kasey Packer, Chelsea Palm, Robert Sauerwine

Last year: 7-14

Key losses: Clarissa Keller, 3B

Key returnees: Maggie Lynch, P, Sr.; Madisyn Sharer, Sr. 1B; Morgan Royer, Sr., LF; Tangie Lyons, CF, Jr.; Courtney Ironside, 3B, Jr.; Ashley Struble, SS; Jr.; Nicole Harbaugh, C, Jr.; Megan Houser, 2B, Jr.; Kylee Wasson, OF. Soph.

Key newcomers: Mackenzie Ironside,CF, Fr. Kayleigh Jones, So. OF/P; Cassidy Brown, Fr., OF

The skinny: Penns Valley is off to an 0-2 start, having faced defending District 6 champion Philipsburg-Osceola and District 6 Class AA runner-up Central in its first two games. ... The Lady Rams bounced second-seeded Richland in the opening round of the District 6 playoffs last season. ... The Lady Rams return eight starters. ... Lynch is in her third season as Penns Valley’s primary pitcher. ... Sharer is one of the top power hitters in Centre County, having belted five home runs last season. ... Struble is a slick-fielding shortstop with some pop at the plate.

Coach Lucas says: “I think we’re going to be OK. When we settle in and start to hit the ball a little better — and we will — we’re going to win some ballgames. When midseason rolls around we will be OK. This is a pretty athletic team. This is the third year for most of these gals. Many of them started as freshmen. We just need to find our hitting shoes and we will.”