FARINA-South Central struggled to a 6-21 record last spring, but head coach Gary Kapper is optimistic about his outlook for this season. The Cougars return pitcher Lexi Schafer, and have a handful of others who are coming back with varsity experience. With a core of starters back in Kapper's third year at the helm, the skipper hopes his squad continually improves throughout the season and is a challenger in every game they play.
"We want to win more games than we did last year," he said. "We hope that we can compete, that we get better in all aspects of the game."
Schafer's return gives Kapper a steady arm to turn to on the mound. The junior played a significant role for South Central last season, and will again be counted on to deliver this spring. Kapper says she has all the tools, but must become more precise in her pitches.
"Lexi throws hard," he said. "We're just working on her to be more consistent."
South Central fans will also see a new face on the mound this spring, with freshman Abby King emerging as a potential breakout performer for the Cougars. Kapper is interested to see how she throws in live game action, as his team has been forced to practice inside the previous weeks due to the uncooperative weather.
"All I've seen is she is consistent," he said. "We'll just have to wait and see how she does with some live stuff. She'll be relied on a lot."
Kapper will use a pair of catchers this spring in senior Kellie Crain and sophomore Jordan Schaal. Crain figures to take the majority of innings behind the plate, but Schaal has been hard at work to get some time as well. Both players, Kapper says, have put forth the necessary work in the offseason.