LYNN — In order to compete, a team needs a good balance of experience and talent across its roster.
The Classical softball can check those boxes as the Rams gear up for the 2019 season.
Classical’s senior class, a group that helped lead the Rams to the Division 1 North state tournament last spring, has no lack of either.
“We have a solid senior crew that has been part of the team for a lot of years now,” Classical coach Erika Richard, entering her fifth season with the Rams, said. “We have really good leadership. Madison Dana’s moving to behind the plate from third base. Rebecca Walker’s been our shortstop. Kayla Morrill has been really solid at second base and at the plate. (Junior) Amanda Wilkins looks solid at first base. With our infield alone I think we have a lot of experience and can give anybody a game any given day.
“We’re lucky enough that we have so much experience behind last year’s seniors,” Richard said. “I feel we’re in a good place and we’re going to do fine.”
In the circle, Classical will lean on left-hander Brooke Warren. Although Warren is a sophomore, she saw playing time on the varsity last season in filling in for Tori Adams as the latter nursed a head injury.
“Brooke learned a lot from Tori last year,” Richard said. “She knows that she’s going to step up and be a leader as a sophomore. I have no doubt she put in a lot of work during the offseason and she’s ready to go. She has a lot of confidence in the girls behind her and they trust her.”
Senior Ciara Collins will lead the outfield. Freshman Isabella Faessler will play third base.
Dana and Walker are this season’s co-captains.
“They’ve both been starting infielders since freshman year,” Richard said. “That doesn’t happen very often. Maddie was a junior captain, that was an easy decision. She’s one of those kids that her teammates respect her. She’s another leader on the field. Rebecca’s humble, hard-working and does what she needs to do to help the team. She doesn’t look for recognition. Those two have already done a great job with the new kids. Our team’s lucky to have those two.”
The Rams will play a tough schedule this season. Although the Northeastern Conference has split up into two new divisions (meaning Classical will no longer play each NEC team once during the regular season), the Rams expect they’ll need to bring their A-games on a daily basis. Richard believes if Classical can take a game-by-game approach and focus on preparing itself to compete, the results will follow.
“It’s going to be different. A lot of our teams we look forward to for our best games we don’t see anymore because of the way it’s split up,” Richard said. “We’re excited. We feel if we show up and play, we have a chance every game and the only team that can beat us is ourselves. We have to focus on ourselves and play one game at a time.”
Also on Classical’s schedule is a trip to Florida, where the Rams will play two non-conference games.
“I’m just hoping we see really good pitching,” Richard said. “Being on that complex, the girls are so lucky. They’re excited. I’m hoping we get really good competition, we go out there and represent Lynn Classical and hopefully have two really competitive games.”
Through the first week of tryouts, Classical’s in a good place.
“We had 37 girls come out which is the most I’ve had in the five years I’ve been here,” Richard said. “We have lots and lots of young talent. The JV team will be very talented this year. We have more girls than ever that can come up on any given day and push our girls. I’m really excited about where the program’s heading.”
Classical opens the season April 9 (4) when the Rams host Medford.