Local Sports Journal

Oakridge girls softball coach Joe Coletta likes what he sees on this season’s roster.

He’s got seven returning starters and six of them are juniors.

The Eagles, which finished 10-16 a year ago, will be led by one of the best players in the area in shortstop Morgan Giddings, who batted .459 last season. She is a two-time all-conference performer as well as all-district.

Oakridge also will rely on veteran third baseman Sierra Hanchera, a four-year starter who hit .390 last season. She also was all conference and all district.

Pitcher Nicole Depender pitched every inning for the Eagles last season.  She is a three-year starter. Other returning starters include second baseman Brooke Wilder, first baseman Taylor Hall, left fielder Emalee Lowe and catcher Caelin Subdon.

Two freshmen – Alessa Buchner and Abby Lowe – have been looking strong in early workouts. Both are outfielders.

“North Muskegon, Whitehall and Shelby are the top tier,” Coletta said. “The rest of us will be pretty equal with the potential to challenge the top three.”