STHS softball is well armed |

STHS softball is well armed

Michael Traum

The sounds ringing in the Gold Gym at South Tahoe High are a clue to what first-year coach Jan Johnson thinks the softball team most needs this season – hitting.

“We need to generate more runs. They’re always a premium,” said Johnson, as his team worked through a series of drill stations. “We made good contact for our first time out (scrimmage last weekend). I was very happy with the effort and hope we can maintain it.”

The Vikings hope more runs will give their young, yet potentially tough, group of pitchers a fighting chance. Junior Amy Johnson, sophomore April Peterson and freshman Melissa Johnson will form the starting lineup. Johnson said he’ll use the three in rotation, where any one can pick up the other when the situations permit.

“We won’t be overpowering. But with the rotation, I think we can be effective,” he said.

Amy Johnson agreed. “It’ll be nice to have depth. We’re all smart pitchers. We don’t have a lot of heat. But we know locations and different pitches to fool hitters.”

Seven Vikes return from last year’s squad. Fourth-year varsity players Bekah Foster and Kelly Patterson join juniors Amy Johnson, Sabrina Manning and Brooke Peterson, with sophomores April Peterson and Megan Humphries.

“I don’t know what to expect. But I’m looking forward to finding out. We’re going to have a lot of fun,” Peterson said.

Three-sport standout Foster said the new coaching offers a different outlook.

“It’s a whole new thing – a different perspective. I think we’ll do pretty good. We can win some games,” she said.

It’s a way of doing things for Johnson that he said can build some consistency and skills.

“I’m feeling my way through and learning. (I’m) trying to teach these kids proper techniques and try to correct bad habits where they’ve developed,” Johnson said. “We need to stay patient, disciplined and get a lot of repetition – it takes a certain animal to play this game.

“The No. 1 goal is to stimulate these kids’ interest in fast-pitch softball. It takes superior skill and courage.”

South Tahoe travels to Reed on March 19. Game time is 3:30 p.m.

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