WESTFIELD — The Cowanesque Valley Lady Indians softball team may have lost a handful of seniors this past season (five) but have an extremely tight-knit group who will look to their team chemistry to give them a competitve edge in the 2020 season.
With some viewing it as a rebuild year, the team that will be taking the field for the Cowanesque Valley Lady Indians this year will have an extensive amount of time put in playing with each other over the years.
The chemistry that the players have could be an invaluable asset for the Lady Indians this season and could turn their tide from a rebuild season, to one that has them competing for a spot in the District playoffs.
“The middle infielders have played together since they were five so I’m pretty confident on that part of the field. We have a strong catcher who’s also been with that middle-infield group, the outfielders aren’t afraid to play outfield so I’m pretty excited about the defense,” Coach Mike Vargeson said about how the defense has grown up together and is expecting a strong performance from them in 2020.
“Most of these girls have been playing together and the young ones are just taking to the older ones. So far it’s probably the best chemistry I’ve seen since I’ve been a part of this program,” Vargeson said.
One senior player who is expected to be a standout for the Lady Indians this season is senior Rylie Ortt. Ortt put together a strong junior season where she batted .393 with 22 hits, nine RBI’s, a team-high 11 steals and was a star on defense for the Lady Indians.
“It’s kind of a rebuilding year but I feel pretty good. We lost a few major people but I think it’s going to be a good season,” Ortt commented on the expectations for the 2020 Lady Indians. “I just want to be able to play really well for my senior year and to also be able to do it as a team.”
Looking ahead to the season, Ortt is especially excited to get a crack at the Wellsboro team this season and said “One of my good friends plays on that team, so I would say i’m definitely looking forward to the Wellsboro game.”
With a new look, the Lady Indians team is are trying to keep expectations tamed, and despite an overwhelming amount of chemistry on the field, are just looking to be competitive and win some games.
“We are just looking forward to competing in the league. I noticed the league will be pretty decent this year; we are just looking to not be out of the ball game in the first couple of innings and compete all the way through seven innings,” coach Vargeson said of his expectations going into the 2020 season.
The Lady Indians have also continued to improve their depth on the mound as they have been working with new pitchers to give them something a lot of high school teams lack, which is pitching depth.
“We have two pitchers who are returning from last year and they’ve been playing varsity for the last few years and we are also working to develop a freshman and a sophomore, so we are definitely hoping for a little bit of something out of all four,” Vargeson said.
The Lady Indians will play their season-opener on Friday, March 27 at 4:30 p.m. as they make the trip to Athens for a matchup with the Lady Wildcats.