There will be a strong collection of young and old when the London High School softball team takes the field this spring.
The Red Raiders have savvy varsity veterans who know their way around the varsity diamond, but they also have a number of new faces that will look to contribute from the first day.
“This year’s squad has veterans and rookies that will play a lot,” coach Kelly Nelson said.
Three seniors enter their fourth year on the varsity roster. They are senior Serena Crawford (P/CF), Taylor Riegel (second base) and Kaitlin Patterson (IF/DP). The three of them have battled and seen some of the best softball Central Ohio has to offer. They will be counted on to lead the way this spring.
Also back in the mix are a collection of talented returning letterwinners in Makayla Ratliff (first base), Taylor Holloway (P/IF/OF), Alexis Clark (catcher/third base), Elizabeth Oney (OF) and Rayleigh Bexfield (IF/OF). With another year under their belts, London will look to take another step toward competing for the championship in the Mid-State League Ohio Division.
Newcomers on the Red Raiders roster are sophomore Ashley Riegel (P/IF/OF), junior Lilly Marriott (first base/OF) and junior Kelsey Boggs (catcher/OF), as well as a trio of talented freshmen in Lexi Zabloudil (SS/P), Cadence Doughman (OF/P) and Kennedy Nickell (C/third base).
With recent departures of MSL schools in the last couple years (Madison-Plains and West Jefferson), there are only a total of five schools in the MSL Ohio including London. Especially with the departure of the Roughriders the race for the championship appears to be wide open.
“With just four softball teams in the league it could be anyone,” Nelson said of the title. “And since softball is playing like baseball where we play the same team on Monday and Wednesday of each week, it could be up for grabs for anyone.”
The coach likes her pitching and believes the team has the ability to be a force at the plate.
“I feel that we could be strong in hitting, but it is something that we also need to keep working at,” she said. “I feel that we need to work on defense and must have a strong defense in order to do well this year.”
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.