Talented freshmen helping to elevate Kamiak’s game | Softball

Newcomers figure to play prominant roles for Knights
By David Pan | Mar 14, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak brings back a veteran pitcher in senior Cecila Robbins.

The Kamiak softball team expects big things out of its freshman class this season.

Five of the 13 players on varsity are first-year Knights and they are already turning heads.

“They are all very talented,” Kamiak coach Ann Bradley said.

Senior co-captain Cameron Weaver is excited about what she’s seen from the underclassmen. Freshman Katelyn Sonnichsen hit a home run in practice.

“That’s pretty rare to get a home run on our field,” Weaver said.

The freshmen are pushing everyone to up their efforts.

“My older girls’ game has stepped up because they know there are girls that can easily take their position,” Bradley said. “There’s no guarantee that just because you’re a junior or a senior that your spot is your spot.”

The Knights bring back some experience with three seniors – Weaver in the outfield, pitcher Cecilia Robbins and first baseman Elaine Nikolaidis, who is shifting from third base.

“We actually have four girls that can pitch, which is nice,” Bradley said. “Cecilia will have the most time on the mound.”

Freshman Jadynn Bushnell is penciled in at shortstop, allowing junior Jackie Rookaird to be the anchor in center field, her preferred position.

Junior Heidi Baird, a varsity returner, takes over full-time at second base.

Freshman catcher Natalie Smullin is another strong addition.

“She’s very quick. She’s got a strong arm and offensively she’s got a good bat,” Bradley said. “We’re a young team, but I see good things this year.”

All of the players bring versatile skills, which will give the Kamiak coach some added flexibility with the lineup.

“Everybody can be switched around a little bit,” Weaver said.

The Knights are looking for the freshmen to add a little pop to an offense that was the team’s weakness last season.

“We have a lot of good hitters,” Weaver said.

Nikolaidis brings power to the lineup, and Robbins and junior Ella Dahl were two of the team’s most consistent hitters, Weaver added.

“We have more power than last year,” Robbins said. “We struggled a lot last year with hitting.”

All of the Knights are solid defensive players, so Bradley is looking to see who can provide the most offense punch.

“For me they’re all defensively great players,” Bradley said. “Whoever is hitting better that’s who is going in the lineup.”

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