By ROB HAMILTON
After his team picked up 18 wins last year, Cardington softball coach Tod Brininger returns seven letterwinners, including three who earned league recognition.
Samantha Brininger was a first-team player in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference, while both Khyla Jones and Brooke Snyder earned second-team honors. They are rejoined by Kirsten Dever, Mason Disterdick, Aubrey Clark and Jane Perry. While the team graduated first-team All-MOAC player Paige Clark, Leah Doubikin (who earned honorable mention recognition) and Alex Salyers, Brininger has a number of newcomers looking to contribute at the varsity level in Summer Morgan, Alyson Adams, Cass Starkey and Dakota Crum.
“Brooke Snyder returns as a junior this year after winning 18 games last year,” said the coach of his primary pitcher. “Offensively, we return three of our top four hitters in Samantha Brininger, Khyla Jones and Kirsten Dever. Aubrey Clark, Mason Disterdick and Snyder also batted well over .300 last year. Offensively, we should build on an almost .400 batting average last year as a team.”
Despite having a lot of returnees, Brininger noted that he’ll have a young team. Dever is the squad’s only senior, while five juniors, two sophomores and three freshmen will make up the rest of the varsity squad. The coach is hoping his team can repeat as Blue Division champions, but notes that it will be a tough battle this year, saying that Northmor has a new coach and one of the league’s best players in Kelsey Reeder, Highland should be more competitive, Mount Gilead has returning talent and Fredericktown should be much better.
“We expect to compete and try to repeat our Blue Division title from last year, but it will be difficult,” he said. “Our goal is to win a district title and move on to regionals.”
Rob Hamilton may be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 204.