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The 2013-2014 Lady Westerners will showcase 10 very mature freshmen that are athletic, competitive, focused, determined, and eager to learn. These players come from very successful high school athletic programs. These ladies are looking to come in and cement their legacy in the Western Texas College softball program. They will be asked to come in and help replace two of the most responsible, dedicated and team players we had in our program, Jaime Ohm (1st Team All Conference) and Reagan Darnell. These were two of our most reliable, focused, team oriented and academically gifted athletes in our program last year. The freshman players are Chelsea Cantwell (Chula Vista, CA), Breanna Fuller (El Paso, TX), Autumn Gillespie (Ennis, TX), Shelbi Meador (Snyder, TX), Marissa Medina (El Paso, TX), Darian Murphy (Alamogordo, NM), Andrea Rodriguez (Santa Paula, CA), Shambry Sanders (Brock, TX), Shannon Toogood (North Saanich, British Columbia) and Hannah Windham (Athens, TX). We will have56 returning sophomores led by NFCA 2nd Team All-Region Catcher Maria Jose Mercado Catcher/OF/3B (Mexico). Other returning sophomores are starters Leia Andriotto 3B/OF (Decatur, TX), Regan Staudt DP/Pitcher/1B (Colleyville, TX), Rachel Tassin 2B/3B (Sante Fe, TX) and Adrianna Vargas Pitcher (Carlsbad, NM). 

This group will be expected to provide guidance and leadership to each other as well as our incoming players.  Expectations will be high from the coaching staff for this group because they are beyond capable of reaching the highest level of achievement in both the classroom and on the field.  Our returning sophomores are players that were loyal to the program and coaching staff as well as the team on the field. They showed respect to coaches, worked hard and always stayed after practice to do extra on a daily basis.  I believe they understand what it takes for us to be successful as a group and that losing the team concept at any point could be what keeps us from reaching the ultimate goal which is the national tournament.

This year’s offense will feature a mix of speed and power.  The offense will feature Sophomore Catcher Maria Jose Mercado (.386 average, 9 HR’s), sophomore 2nd baseman Rachel Tassin (.332 average, 9 for 11 SB’s) and sophomore Designated Player Regan Staudt (.283 average, 4 HR’s). 

Defensively, we will have freshman and sophomore infielders and outfielders that step on to campus well educated in the game of softball and possess tremendous athletic ability.  We expect infield leadership from Maria Jose Mercado and returners Leia Andriotto and Rachel Tassin. The infield will feature newcomers Darian Murphy, Autumn Gillespie,  Breanna Fuller and Andrea Rodriguez as well as Chelsea Cantwell who will see action in the outfield. The outfield defense will be lead by Regan Staudt who will be joined by Marissa Medina, Shambry Sanders, Shannon Toogood, Hannah Windham and Shelbi Meador.

The pitching staff will feature a mix between power and finesse. Sophomores Adrianna Vargas and Regan Staudt will be returning to help lead and mentor freshman pitchers Hannah Windham and Breanna Fuller who will see time in the field as well. This pitching staff very well could be what propels us to the next level in the conference.  They are a very energetic group with lots of success and tremendous work ethic. 

The Lady Westerners have a chance to be very successful due to the talent and winning background of our incoming freshman. As well as the talent and amount of experience gained by our sophomore class and the team oriented mindset of both the freshman and sophomore classes.  These ladies are going to fight everyday and give it their all each time they step on the field.  That is what I like about this group of players we have assembled; they are fighters and are willing to do whatever it takes to bring us team success.  There are no players on this team concerned with just their statistics. They want to achieve greatness as a collective group. The 2013-2014 Lady Westerner Softball will compete in 20 plus fall scrimmages and 50 plus games during the spring.  At the end of the season we hope to be at the regional tournament in Lubbock, Texas May 2rd -4th competing for a national championship berth in St. George, Utah.  See you in the stands!!