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Arlington softball boasts senior leaders, strong freshman
ARLINGTON — Fans of the Lady Eagles softball program are going to need to keep a roster handy for the first couple of games.
Arlington head coach Dan Eng returns fewer than a handful of starters from last year's squad, but is excited about how big a step forward this crop can take.
"We've got some questions so far because I graduated most of my infield and pitcher," Eng said. "But I had a great incoming freshmen class this year."
Looking more to develop the underclassmen, Eng said many of them are going to start off on the junior varsity level, but he is putting a lot of emphasis on his three captains to teach them the right way to play.
Senior center fielder Kirstin Wright and Kailee Basher at first base will help the younger players, while Amanda Lyons is currently sidelined with an injury and acting as an assistant.
"I couldn't ask for better leaders," Eng said.
The appropriately named Basher is slated to hit in the No. 3 hole for an Eagles team that finished 16-6 overall last year and 12-4 in Wesco North play, earning second place behind Stanwood.
And while the returning starters list is short after losing four integral seniors, Eng couldn't help but acclaim the two freshmen who will start their high school careers on varsity, Veronica Ladines and Lyndsy Amundson.
"She has got one of the strongest arms I've had in Arlington," Eng said of Amundson, who will pitch and play in the outfield. "And Veronica can become a great pitcher and hitter if she works on it."
Ladines is also going to play a little first base.
As far as the Wesco North competition goes, Eng doesn't see a change atop the standings from last season.
"I'd say right now the team to beat is Stanwood, if nothing else because of their pitcher Brittany Jeans," Eng said. "She is the best pitcher in the league."
Following Stanwood, Eng said Everett is very strong and predicted Marysville-Pilchuck to have a breakout season.
The Eagles began their season against Sedro-Woolley on March 16, and will play a home game against defending 2A state champion Burlington-Edison at 4 p.m., March 17.