Softball season preview: players to watch out for


M. Stoops

Senior third baseman Lex Warner waits for a pitch in the batter’s box.

Taylor McCartney and Sam Findley

Coming off a 21-9 season that ended in a regional semifinal defeat to Columbus North 6-0, the Trojans softball team returns a majority of their starting lineup and comes in to the season hoping to build off of last season’s success with more experience behind them.

“Last year, they were all a bunch of puppies and they figured out something cool, so another year is going to be cooler,” head coach Alyssa Coleman said. “I’m not too worried. They’re going to be prepared. There’s going to be some bumps, but we’ll get through it. We’re going to grow, and we’re just gonna bring it. I am very excited.”

Returning players to watch:

Lex Warner
Lex Warner, a third baseman, is coming up on her last season of softball at Center Grove as a senior this year. Warner will not only play an integral role as the team’s lead infielder, but as a leader as well.

“She’s the mother hen. She knows exactly what we want, and she knows how to perform at that level. She’s the girl all the girls look up to when they need that support and get that little bit of fear in their eyes. They know that she is going to settle that groove and is going to lead that way. She is going to do everything she can to help us,” Coleman said.

Ashlyn Wolff
Wolff, another returning member from last year’s season, comes into this season as a junior. She played an important role in the team’s fielding at shortstop and hitting success last season with 35 putouts, .383 average at bat, 30 runs and a team high 4 home runs.

“She is a total athlete and stud. She doesn’t know how not to play the game with passion and athleticism. She’s a beast,” Coleman said.

Newcomers to watch

Riley Henson
Sophomore pitcher Riley Henson saw limited runs with the team last year and allowed 4.94 runs in her limited time on the mound, but the excitement surrounding the pitcher coming into this season is noteworthy.

“She’s just a stud. You look into her eyes, and she has that killer mentality. It’s her time to shine. It’s that simple. I realize she’s a sophomore, but I have the trust and faith that the things she needs to learn this year, she will, and the year after that it gets harder and stronger and by then the hunger will just be there. We’ll go anywhere with her,” Coleman said.

Henson won’t need to be perfect this season with a strong field but if she can develop into the pitcher Coleman says, she can that will make this team even more dangerous come tournament time.

Sydney Herman
Another new player to look out for is Herman, a freshman first baseman. Coleman believes she will take the team far with her energy.

“She’s a natural lefty of all sorts,” Coleman said. “She practices like it’s a tryout every day, and I think that is going to rub off on everyone. She is going to have a huge impact on our program. I haven’t seen a selfish bone in her body, so it’s going to be a joy to watch.”

The Trojans have the ability to build off of a strong season last year and only have a question mark at pitching because of the lack of depth and experience. Center Grove’s ability to put runs on the board and their strong veteran fielding should allow for the Trojans pitching to grow as the season progresses and still walk away with wins even if the mound play runs dry.

Coleman will continue to push the girls the entire season but says the Trojans are a good team as they stand now.

“We have a good enough team right now, but good enough is the enemy of greatness,” Coleman said. “That is the big battle we are facing right now, so we’re just going to keep pushing and pushing them until they get to be the big dogs.”