Experience will certainly be a strength for the Park View High School varsity softball team this season as Head Coach Dean Crutchfield welcomes back nine returners from last season.
The Lady Dragons fell in the regional quarterfinals last year but are hoping to make a deeper run in the playoffs this season.
“We have nine returning,” said Crutchfield. “They figured out how to win last year and I think we have a good chance (to make a run) if we can stay healthy.”
Seniors returnees for Park View include pitcher Emma Jo Wolfe, third baseman Alyssa Berryman, first baseman Grayson Hudson and outfielders Dee Dee Cliborne, Skyla Williams and Madison Ezell.
Junior returnees for the Lady Dragons include infielder Carson Wall and catcher Brook Howerton.
Sophomore infielder Erin Baily also returns.
Freshman pitcher Lizzie Wesson, Kaylee Coker and sophomore Blair Clark round out the Lady Dragons roster.
“Defensively we are sound at every position and Emma Jo is throwing well,” said Crutchfield. “We’ve got a ton of talent.”
Crutchfield said Southampton HS would again be strong, returning senior pitcher Maddie Wood who was the Tri-Rivers District player of the year last season.
David Brankley returns as an assistant coach this season along with former James Madison University softball standout Hannah Hayes who is assisting for the first time this year.
“Hannah has been a blessing,” said Crutchfield. “She has made a difference already.”
The Lady Dragons will jump right into the fray playing Colonial Heights HS and Halifax in the opening week of the season and Windsor and Southampton in the second week.
“We will know where we are pretty quick,” he said.