Is it possible to return a championship team that is better than the year before?
That is a question that crosses the mind when looking at the lineup the St. Clair women's softball team will put together this season. "It feels crazy good this year. Scary good." said returning centrefielder Sierra Batlzer.
The Saints, who won the OCAA title and beat Western 9-0 to win the CCSA national championship, return players like Baltzer, Shae-Lyn Murphy, slugger/pitcher Amy Claydon and last year's OCAA female athlete of the year Bryanna Kressler. St. Clair finished with an unblemished 34-0 record and Baltzer says the team is hungry to repeat. "The brutal truth is what happened last year already happened. We get to live and enjoy what already happened but we want it again. We want that feeling again."
Head coach Doug Wiseman has added some young blood to help his team in that pursuit. Ashley Ventura (catcher/3rd base) Reese Grondin (3rd, 1st) and Alivia Peterson (catcher/2nd) have made an impression during training camp. "Happy to add three quality players to join what we already have." said Wiseman who feels all three can contribute immediately. "We're already fast. They bring more athleticsm and speed to the team."
Peterson showed some power at practice cracking a line shot over the fence Wednesday night at practice. "After seeing some of the best players I've ever seen play the game go to St. Clair College or come back, I knew there must be something special about St. Clair and I wanted to be a part of it." said the 18-year old St. Anne grad who won gold at the U19 Tier 1 provincial championship this summer. "I knew the first time I met the team and the coaching staff it was a great fit. I'm extremely thankful and excited to be given a chance to be a part of it."
The Saints open the season Saturday morning at 11am vs Lambton before taking on Conestoga at 1pm.