Experienced Borderites softball squad sees room for improvement

 Returning sophomore Taylor Miller slides into second base in a softball game against Meridian High School last spring. Photo by Janell Kortlever.

Returning sophomore Taylor Miller slides into second base in a softball game against Meridian High School last spring. Photo by Janell Kortlever.

By Oliver Lazenby

Coming off a lackluster season, an experienced girls Borderites softball team is preparing for its 2016 season with hopes for improvement.

“Last year wasn’t the greatest for us record-wise,” said head coach Alisa Burk. “We can only improve. We’ve got a strong group of girls this year.”

The Borderites lost their first game, an away game to Lynden, 2–6.

In its first season after being bumped into class 2A, the varsity Borderites squad won just two out of 12 conference games last year.

This year’s varsity team has only two seniors – Dacia Blanco and Riley Miller, a strong pitcher who has started with the varsity team since her freshman year – but seven of the 12 players have varsity experience. Four juniors and six sophomores round out the team and there are no freshmen on varsity, making it a relatively old team, Burk said.

Defense should be one of the team’s strengths, especially in the outfield.

“They can run down the ball. It’s graceful. It’s fun to watch, and they have strong arms,” Burk said of the team’s outfielders. 

Borderite hitters have a mix of strengths and styles at bat, with some power hitters and some with strong batting averages.

“I think our hitting is going to be pretty solid,” Burk said.

In regards to the junior varsity team, this year’s group of rookies is one of the strongest groups of freshmen Burk’s seen in her six years of coaching, she said.

“They’ve played together for a long time and they’re going to bring a ton of talent to the JV team,” Burk said. “We feel that by keeping them together they’re only going to get better.”

The Borderites season began with a jamboree on Saturday, March 12. The team has an away game at Nooksack Valley on Thursday, March 17 at 4:30 p.m.

The team’s first home game is at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 21 against Ferndale.

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