2013 Spring Preview: Park softball team junior-heavy in 2013
The Park softball team fielded a number of sophomores in 2012. This spring, that experience should help the Wolfpack improve on last year's 9-11 overall record.
Park currently has nine juniors, one senior, one sophomore, two freshmen and one eighth grader on the roster. The Wolfpack lost one starter, 2012 graduate Kayla Hemmingson, in the offseason and one key player, catcher Gwen Warling, to injury.
Back in the mix this season are key players from last season in senior infielder Mary Turitto, junior infielder Sam Flack, sophomore infielder Rachel Suter and junior pitcher Amber Galloway. Turitto, who signed to play college ball at Winona State next fall, is a four-year letter winner for the Wolfpack, who earned all-conference honors the past three years. Last spring, Turitto led the Wolfpack in home runs and RBIs. She will captain the team this season along with Flack. They compose one of the better middle infields around, which should serve Galloway -- Park's top pitcher last year -- well this season.
As usual, the road won't be easy for Park in the Suburban East Conference. The Wolfpack went 6-12 in conference play last year. Stillwater, the 2012 Class AAA state champion, should again be a force in the SEC. Forest Lake, another team that reached state in 2012, should also be among the conference leaders. In Section 3AAA, the top team is expected to be Bloomington Jefferson, but Burnsville, Eastview, Eagan and Lakeville North should also be tough. Last year, Park beat Rosemount in the section playoff opener, but fell 13-4 to ninth-ranked Lakeville North in the second round.
Park is set to start the season on Friday, April 5, at LeSueur-Henderson, weather-permitting. Its first conference game is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10, at Stillwater. The first home game is Monday, April 15, against East Ridge at Charlie Whitbred Field.