Perhaps the easiest task for Shiner coach Brandon Siegel this season will be making out his starting lineup. In fact, he might as well just use some left over from last season.
That's because the Lady Comanches return all 10 starters from last season's team that made a run all the way to the Class 1A state semifinals.
"That year of experience and depth will be the strengths of this team," Siegel said. "We have to stay injury-free and focused on the goal of getting back to the state tournament."
Seven freshman led the way for the Lady Comanches last season, including pitcher Heather Haas, who was 17-3 with a 1.03 ERA. Haas, who was named the Advocate's Pitcher of the Year last season, also averaged more than two strikeouts per inning by fanning 254 in 95 innings last season. Haas was also one of the team's offensive leaders by batting .364 with 13 RBIs.
The Lady Comanches, who finished with a 20-4-1 record last season, will have only one senior starter -- catcher Maci Schaefer, who batted .329 with 11 RBIs. Junior Courtney Frank is back at third base.
The rest of the starting lineup will be made up of sophomores -- left fielder Paige Michalec (.341, 11 RBIs), shortstop-pitcher Alyssa Strauss (.260, 15 RBIs), center fielder Ieisha Flowers (.466, 6 HRs, 22 RBIs), first baseman Taylor Hajek (.291), designated player-third baseman-pitcher Amber Shimek (.418), and right fielder-pitcher Morgan Ullman (.282, 10 RBIs).